Searching for Bobby Fischer

From Academic Kids

Searching for Bobby Fischer is an acclaimed film of 1993 based on the life of Josh Waitzkin. It was written and directed by Steve Zaillian.

In this film, Josh Waitzkin's family discovers that he possesses a gift for chess and they seek to nurture it. They hire a strict instructor (Bruce Pandolfini, played by Ben Kingsley) who aims to teach the boy to be as aggressive as 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 win at any price. However, the main conflict in the film arises when Josh refuses to adopt the misanthropic point of view of Fischer. Furthermore, Josh goes on to win on his own terms with the kind of gracious sportsmanship that Fischer rejects.

The film was nominated for Best Cinematography (Conrad L. Hall) at the 1993 Academy Awards, while it won the category at the American Society of Cinematographers the same year.

Fischer has cited the movie as just another example of a "Jewish conspiracy" to make money off him and sully his reputation at the same time, on the grounds that the film's producers used Fischer's fame to promote the movie yet paid him nothing for it.

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