The Fencer
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Film Info
Original Title:Meikkailija
Program:New Releases
Tags:True Story
Culture & Society
Historical Drama
Oscar Submission
Release Year:2015
Runtime:99 min
Awards:Best Motion Picture Foreign Language Nominee, Golden Globes 2016
Best Foreign Language Film Official Selection, Academy Awards 2016
Best Picture, Jussi Awards 2016
Best Cinematography, Jussi Awards 2016
Director:Klaus Ha¨ro¨
Producer:Kai Nordberg
Kaarle Aho
Cinematographer:Tuomo Hutri
Screenwriter:Anna Heina¨maa
Editor:Tambert Tasuja
Ueli Christen
Composer:Gert Wilden Jr
Principal Cast:Ma¨rt Avandi
Ursula Ratasepp
Liisa Koppel
Lembit Ulfsak
Filmography:Letters to Father Jacob ('09)
The New Man ('07)
Mother of Mine ('05)
Statisti ('03)
Elina: As If I Wasn't There ('02)

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 every thing to take the children to Leningrad or put his safety frst and disappoint them.

Director’s Biography

Klaus Härö: THE FENCER is Klaus Härö’s fifth feature film. Härö is one of the most internationally praised Finnish directors, and his films have been festival hits as well as audience and critic favorites both in Finland and Sweden. Härö grew up in Porvoo, Finland, and loved films as a little boy. His love for them turned into a passion in his early teens and in 1999, Härö graduated with a master’s degree in directing and screenwriting from the Department of Film, TV and Scenography at the University of Art and Design Helsinki.

Klaus Härö received the Ingmar Bergman Award at the 2004 Guld-bagge Gala, the Swedish equivalent of the Oscars. This was the first time the award had been given to a non-Swedish director. Härö then received a letter from Bergman himself in which the Swedish film legend thanked the young man for his excellent work in film.


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