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SDAFF Drive-In! presents BE WATER

Directed by Bao Nguyen

SDAFF Drive-In! presents Bao Nguyen’s BE WATER on SUN Oct 25 @Zion Market. For more information, please visit SDAFF Drive-In!.

Immediately after the feature, there will be a pre-recorded bonus Q&A with director Bao Nguyen! 

Only one ticket is required per vehicle.

Per SDAFF tradition, wearing costumes is highly encouraged!

Official Selection, 2020 Sundance Film Festival
Official Selection, 2020 Cannes Film Festival

For decades after his passing, Bruce Lee left behind a legacy that shaped the image of all Asian Americans–for better and for worse–that still reverberates today. But Lee wasn’t just an icon, a master of his craft who exploded overnight. Unlike other tributes that cover familiar ground–glorifying his mastery and his crossover into the American mainstream–Bao Nguyen’s BE WATER fills an important gap, delivering a fascinating and specifically Asian American take on Lee’s importance. For this, BE WATER is easily the most well-rounded and relevant documentary about Bruce Lee today. 

With new interviews and archival footage, Nguyen (Julian, SDAFF ‘12) is less focused on the martial arts and more on Lee’s offscreen battles. Bullying as a child. Learning to survive as a newly-arrived teenager in Seattle. Angling for Hollywood roles, failing, and eventually creating his own cinematic platform in Hong Kong. This is the biographical why behind Lee’s famous philosophies such as “Be water.” And the how behind Lee’s guru-like impact on folks from regular joe’s to movie stars.

Nguyen anchors these stories within a social and historical context that depicts an America that found it hard to embrace Bruce Lee, as well as the Asian Americans who came before him to build the American West. This is Bruce outside the action, sans yellow jumpsuit, as told by his wife, his daughter, his peers, and even an NBA legend. Nguyen goes further than Bruce Lee, the actor and the fighter, and delivers Bruce Lee, the man, for the culture.

Erwin Mendoza


Dates & Times


SDAFF Drive-In! @ Zion Market

Sun, Oct 25
7:00 pm