From classics like Broke and The U to Once Brothers, the list of award-winning sports documentaries produced under ESPN’s 30 for 30 umbrella is as long as it is critically acclaimed. Unavoidably, it has become way longer than thirty. The series has not only set the bar for the genre, it has become the bar.
The lifebelt tossed to a sports-watching public cruelly deprived of live action and floating aimlessly after the conclusion of The Last Dance is the latest 30 for 30 dubbed Be Water. It depicts the struggles of martial arts legend and cultural icon Bruce Lee.
The film, directed by Bao Nguyen, not only portraits Lee’s off-air fights for racial equality but also takes a critical look at how his actions and his teachings have stayed highly relevant to society several decades after his way too early death in 1973.
Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.Bruce Lee
The 30 for 30 documentary is available now via the ESPN Player (that offers a seven day free trial).