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Bruce Lee: Screen Warrior

Lee was the first global Chinese film star with an influence that spread across the globe. Not through ideology or revolution, but thanks to the fastest fists in East Asia.

He may still be the most famous non-western film star in the world. Yet he made only a handful of films in the early 1970s, none of which are artistic masterpieces. It wasn't his acting that made Bruce Lee the first Chinese to conquer global popular culture. Instead, his balletic, choreographed mastery of kung fu provided a new image of the Chinese, not as victims, but as avengers, ready to show their own techniques and customs to the world. Lee was a contradiction; part-European, he spent his twenties in the United States. Yet he came to embody the idea of Chinese skill and grace onscreen, and became an icon across continents. His early death has only added to his mystique.
Presenter: Rana Mitter
Producer: Ben Crighton
Researcher: Elizabeth Smith Rosser.

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15 minutes