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- ASIN: B005WJ4FUU
Bobby Fischer Against The World
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Director Liz Garbus presents this intimate look at the life of volatile chess player Bobby Fischer, who stunned the world in 1958 by becoming the U.S. champion, and later shot to infamy for his increasingly erratic behavior. Frequently left alone as a child by his single, Jewish mother, Brooklyn native Fischer was proficient on the chess board by the age of six. A self-taught player, he continued mastering his game though his early teens, when he defeated such star players as Arthur Bisguier, Samuel Reshevsky, and William Lombardy to snag the top slot at the 1957-58 U.S. Championship. Later, in 1972, the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War were bumped from the headlines to make room for stories about Fischer winning the world title from defending champion Soviet Boris Spassy in Reykjavik, Iceland, though it was this game that appeared to mark a turning point in the American media darling's illustrious career. Retiring from the game and disappearing from the spotlight, Fischer was essentially all but forgotten until he reemerged in the early 1990s for the 'Revenge Match of the 20th Century' against his old opponent Spassy. Unfortunately for Fischer, the game was in Yugoslavia, which at the time had been hit with strict U.S. sanctions. As a result, an arrest warrant was issued for Fischer, and he became a fugitive from the law for over a decade. On the rare occasion that he did make a public appearance, he appeared disheveled, and his comments were peppered with vicious attacks on both Jews and Americans. In January of 2008, Fischer succumbed to the effects of renal failure at a Reykjavik hospital. In this documentary vintage footage of Fischer, and conversations with the friends and family who knew him best combine to provide a compelling portrait of a tortured genius whose brilliant mind became his greatest foe.
Top Customer Reviews
The film covers his life from his childhood, the controversial matches and drama that followed, and his exile in Iceland where he remained until his death in 2008. The tile is quite apt for the flim passing a nod to Fischer's struggles and his single minded and sometimes rather eccentric personality.
Prior to watching this documentary I had very little knowledge of Fischer, bar some of his well known matches. I am not a Chess enthusiast just a passing interest in the game but still I found the film worth a watch and it gave me a broad knowledge of the man.
It has to be said though, the Chess element isn't explored in depth. Some of the well known matches are covered, but not really from a Chess experts perspective (if you are looking for a Fischer film on chess techniques and play then this isn't for you). It's a biography through and through.
Some fans might feel it doesn't portray Bobby Fischer in a very positive light. I would tend to agree in some ways, but it is quite obvious Fischer was a hugely talented, but a very complicated/troubled man who wrestled with many issues in his life many of which were not related to Chess at all. The historic events though are given fair coverage, Fischer's somewhat secluded personality is touched on, and we have a good collection of stock film archive material throughout his lifetime, as well as the well known matches with Spassky and others.
I enjoyed the film for what it offered, a look into the life of a troubled genius, it doesn't pull it's punches in telling his story (good and bad). Though it does celebrate some of his achievements in Chess, and credits Fischer with having a huge impact on the popularity of the game and broadening it's appeal. Even for non Chess fans the film is well worth watching.