October 4, 2021 (Levittown, NY)– Was Tarantino Right About Bruce Lee?
In the 2019 blockbuster film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino scripted a controversial and memorable scene where his lead character, Rick Dalton (played by Brad Pitt), encounters and fights a very brash and arrogant, Bruce Lee. Despite the film’s fictional nature the scene, and the positive response to the film, the scene created an uproar in the martial arts community. Shannon Lee, Bruce’s daughter, criticized this depiction of her father. Taekwondo Master, Michael Moh, who portrayed the legendary martial artist, philosopher, and movie legend found himself on the defensive for his portrayal. Tarantino, however, was unapologetic in defense of the portrayal, and stood behind his hyperbolic version of the world’s most influential martial artist.
In September of 2021 Netflix released a 2016 film, Birth of the Dragon, which fictionally retells the story of Bruce Lee’s legendary fight with Wong Jack-man. This film, similarly, depicts Bruce Lee as a brash and arrogant young man with a big mouth and a bad temper.
Are these two depictions accurate, or are they an attempt to tear down the image of the iconic face of modern martial arts?
In this episode Taekwondo Life Magazine talks with scholar, martial artist, and A.V.A.D.E Self-Defense System founder, Peter Zirogiannis, about this very topic. Peter supports his position with his research on the life, writings, personal interactions, and interviews of Bruce Lee that the world has to remember him by. Peter also discusses the impact of these depictions on the Legacy of Bruce Lee.
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A look at Quentin Tarantino’s depiction of Bruce Lee by Bruce Lee expert, Peter Zirogiannis.