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Bobby Fischer Against the World

Bobby Fischer Against the World

Original Title: Bobby Fischer Against the World
Director: Liz Garbus
USA | English, Russian
2010 | 93min. | Colour and B&W
Subtitles: English
Format: Digital Betacam
12+
Can you imagine a time when a chess match buzzed with the media frenzy of a championship prizefight? Nobody before nor since Bobby Fischer has brought such worldwide attention to the game of chess. To this day, many people still consider him the greatest player in history, but his talent is often overshadowed by his sensational life story.

Fischer taught himself to play at the age of six; by eight, he was regularly beating seasoned players who were twice his age. At 15, he was the US champion. But his focused obsession with chess kept mental instability at bay; once he reached the pinnacle of his game –the famous battle with Boris Spassky –he no longer had a channel for his monomania and his life began a spiral into paranoia and bigotry. A hero to many, he nevertheless frustrated and alienated people over the course of his rise and fall to such an extent that, by the time of his death in 2008, with his US passport revoked, the onetime world champion was living in seclusion in Iceland –the only country that would allow him inside its borders.

In Bobby Fischer Against the World, Academy Award-nominated director Liz Garbus unearths a treasure trove of rare archival material, charting a life that walked the tightrope between genius and madness. She pays a great deal of attention to Fischer’s defining moment on the world stage: the 1972 battle with the Soviet Union’s Spassky, a historic match that captured the attention of millions as a Cold War confrontation. Interviews with those who knew Fischer best help to illuminate a shadowy man who was ultimately destroyed by the one thing he loved.

–Jim Browne

Director,  Liz Garbus

Director,  Liz Garbus

Liz Garbus was nominated for an Academy Award in 1998 for The Farm: Angola, USA, which won the Documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. In 2003 she won numerous awards for her film Girlhood, including the Audience Award at South SXSW. In 2007, she won an Emmy as one of the producers of Ghosts of Abu Ghraib. She is the co-founder of independent documentary production company Moxie Firecracker Films.

Cast and Crew

Director
Liz Garbus
Production Company
Moxie Firecracker Films
Music
Philip Sheppard
Producer
Liz Garbus, Rory Kennedy, Matthew Justus, Stanley Buchtal
Executive Producer
Dan Cogan, Nick Frazer, Maja Hoffman, Martin Piper
Screenwriter
Liz Garbus
Editor
Karen Schmeer, Michael Levine
Cinematographer
Robert Chappell
Art Director
Brian Oakes
Sound
Arni Gustafsson, Stever Hayward, Mark Maloof, Matt Sutton
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