ESPN’s Documentary “Be Water” to Pay Tribute to Bruce Lee

No star has shined quite bright when it comes to martial arts and the movies as Bruce Lee. ESPN has released the trailer for their new 30 for 30 documentary “Be Water” that explores Bruce Lee’s life, career, and legacy as an icon of film and martial arts.

The documentary is completely stated by the family, friends, and collaborators who knew Bruce Lee well. It will provide a glimpse into his journey as 30 for 30 “Be Water” which premieres June 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ESPN.

The Documentary

The upcoming documentary focuses on Lee’s childhood in Hong Kong, his journey to Hollywood, and his eventual rise to stardom. It also accounts the scuffles that Lee had to face to win over American audiences as an Asian leading man. 

Adept in martial arts, Bruce Lee moved to his parent’s homeland, Hong Kong after being rejected by Hollywood in 1971. Within the next two years, he completed four iconic movies, defining his legacy.

An Asian Hero

Born to a Chinese opera star, Lee was sent to live in America at the age of 18. He taught Kung Fu in Seattle, got married, and then went to Hollywood with dreams of becoming a star. However, he was rejected since Asian actors in leading roles was a rarity at the time in Hollywood.

“America was not ready for an Asian hero,” Lee’s friend and collaborator Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shares in the trailer. The trailer also includes a clip of an interviewer who asks Lee, “Do you still think of yourself as Chinese, or do you ever think of yourself as North American?” To which Lee’s reply was “You know what I want to think of myself? As a human being.”

The Asian hero reached iconic status with his movies in the early 1970s. However, his legacy was cut short by his untimely death in the summer of 1973.