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Searching for Bobby Fischer
Searching for Bobby Fischer is a 1993 film based on the life of prodigy chess player Joshua Waitzkin, played by Max Pomeranc. Adapted from the book of the same name by Joshua’s father Fred, the film was written and directed by Steven Zaillian. In the United Kingdom the film was released under the title Innocent Moves.
In the film, Josh Waitzkin’s family discovers that he possesses a gift for chess and they seek to nurture it. They then hire a somewhat strict instructor, Bruce Pandolfini (played by Ben Kingsley) who aims to teach the boy to be as aggressive as chess legend Bobby Fischer. The title of the film is a metaphor about the character’s quest to adopt the ideal of Fischer and his determination to greatly win at any price. Josh is also heavily influenced by Vinnie, a “speed chess” hustler (Laurence Fishburne) whom he met in Washington Square Park. The two instructors differ greatly in their strategies and some characteristics, and Pandolfini is upset that Josh continues to learn from Vinnie. The main conflict in the film arises when Josh refuses to adopt Fischer’s misanthropic frame of reference.
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