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ESPN Films’ Latest 30 for 30 ‘Be Water’ Chronicling The Life of Icon Bruce Lee Premieres Sunday on ESPN

Watch the trailer for the newest documentary under ESPN’s popular 30 for 30…

Image from the movie "Be Water"
© 2020 ESPN − All right reserved.

The latest “30 for 30 documentary from ESPN Films, “Be Water” premieres this Sunday, June 7 at 9 pm ET on ESPN. The film, directed by Bao Nguyen, is an intimate look at the life of the martial artist and cultural icon Bruce Lee, and his connection to both the eastern and western worlds.

The film will be made available on ESPN+ immediately after its premiere, along with the rest of the “30 for 30” library. Additionally, it will be featured in an episode of Inside 30 for 30, a new series taking fans inside ESPN’s latest 30 for 30 documentaries, this Sunday, exclusively on ESPN+. Inside 30 for 30: Be Water widens the lens on the Bruce Lee story to address the immense impact the legendary martial artist had on sports, entertainment, and pop culture as he fought through racial and cultural bias. ESPN MMA reporter and host Ariel Helwani lead a roundtable discussion with five of UFC’s most popular figures – Zhang Weili, Israel Adesanya, Jorge Masvidal, Michelle Waterson, and Bruce Buffer – to share how Lee’s trailblazing career influenced their love of martial arts and paved the way for today’s MMA athletes.

“Be Water” directed by Bao Nguyen

Sun., June 7, 9pm ET on ESPN

In 1971, after being rejected by Hollywood, Bruce Lee returned to his parents’ homeland, Hong Kong. Over the next two years, he’d complete four iconic films that would define his legacy, a legacy cut short when he died, stunningly, in the summer of 1973. He was 32 years old.

“Be Water” is a gripping, fascinating, intimate look at not just those final, defining years of Lee’s life, but the complex, often difficult, and seismic journey that led to Lee’s ultimate emergence as a singular icon in the histories of film, martial arts, and even the connection between the eastern and western worlds.

The film chronicles Lee’s earliest days, as the son of a Chinese opera star born while his father was on tour in San Francisco, and then raised in Hong Kong over what became an at times troubled childhood. Sent to live in America at the age of 18, he began teaching Kung Fu in Seattle, and established a following that included his future wife, Linda. His ambition ever rising, Lee eventually made his way to Los Angeles, where he strove to break into American film and television. There, despite some success as a fight choreographer and actor, it was clear Hollywood wasn’t ready for an Asian leading man – and so he returned to Hong Kong to make the films that would in fact make him a legend, his international star skyrocketing just as his life was cut short.

“Be Water” is told entirely by the family, friends, and collaborators who knew Bruce Lee best, with an extraordinary trove of archive film providing an evocative, immersive visual tapestry that captures Lee’s charisma, his passion, his philosophy, and the eternal beauty and wonder of his art.

Poster for the movie "Be Water"
© 2020 ESPN − All right reserved.

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Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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My Take: #BlackLivesMatter And White Privilege

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