I Am Bruce Lee (2011) Review: “And I died For Your Sins.”

There have been a lot of Bruce Lee documentaries, but few offer more than those that came before. It seems that there’s a guy chained to a wall somewhere who’s contractually obligated to write these things up about every 10 months. Even worse, sometimes these documentaries spit things at you that are outright wrong, such as claims that he invented the one-inch punch or variations of it or claims that he was the first person to reject a strict methodology in his martial arts (you can trace that way, WAY back before Bruce Lee was even born). Hell, there are even claims that he was the first to recognize martial arts as a form of direct self-expression! The truth is martial arts have always been based on that; teachers and students were often just too thick to pick up on it.

Bruce Lee
“I am Bruce Lee, and I don’t remember doing any o’ that shit.”

But Pete McCormack’s documentary I Am Bruce Lee is different. It’s – dare I say – factual!  Better yet, it’s got some good talking heads like Dana White and Teri Tom, who can actually offer some decent insight and dispel some of the above claims from fandumb.

Why do I seem so damn adamant on getting people who make fallacious claims about Bruce Lee to shut their collective faces? Well, besides the fact that it’s a lot of fun not to be 100%  wrong all the time, it boils down to one key point: By drawing attention to a bunch of things the man didn’t do, you take attention away from the things he did do. And let me tell you, dear reader: The things he did do were things he did very well.

One of these things was to publicly teach martial arts to us awkward non-Asian folk. This happens to be one of the major points in the story of martial arts and their development over time. Sadly, the film glosses over it.

However, I Am Bruce Lee does expound heavily on the idea of Bruce Lee as a man of ambition, a man who dreamed big and realized his ideals. The film seeks to inspire its viewers the same way Lee inspired the world, showing us the clear benefits of living honestly, sincerely, and through our own voices. This, you can apply to any aspect in life, and Bruce Lee applied it to the dual worlds of film and martial arts.

Read the verdict on the jump…

I AM BRUCE LEE Poster Large
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Year Released:
9 February 2012
Pete McCormack
Bruce Lee, Daniele Bolelli, Paul Bowman, Stephan Bonnar, Kobe Bryant, Gina Carano, Jon Jones, Cung Le, and Richard Bustillo
Documentary, Biography
Official URL:
I Am Bruce Lee

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