The Fencer

Drama; NR; 99m. 

A young man, Endel Nelis, arrives in Haapsalu, Estonia, in the early 1950s. Having left Leningrad to escape the secret police, he finds work as a teacher and founds a sports club for his students. Endel becomes a father figure to his students and starts teaching them his great passion – fencing, which causes a conflict with the school’s principal. Envious, the principal starts investigating Endel’s background. Endel learns to love the children and looks after them; most are orphans as a result of the Russian occupation. Fencing becomes a form of self-expression for the children and Endel becomes a role model. The children want to participate in a national fencing tournament in Leningrad, and Endel must make a choice: risk everything to take the children to Leningrad or put his safety first and disappoint them.


“The performances are excellent and Härö directs with a clean hand, pushing toward a suspenseful, stirring climax that hinges on the team’s success as well as Endel’s freedom.” – Randy Cordova, ARIZONA REPUBLIC


“Acutely acted, The Fencer strikes home.” – Philip Kemp, TOTAL FILM



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