Aicha attends Kung Fu at her high school in Copenhagen. Her Muslim, Turkish father wants her to study hard and become a doctor but instead she starts training at a Kung Fu club where Emil helps with her training. They become friends.
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Aicha, a high-school student, is a passionate kung fu fighter. Her Turkish parents expect her to get good grades so she can get into medical school, like her brother Ali. But school doesn't inspire her. Defying her family, Aicha starts secretly training at a professional, co-ed kung fu club. A boy, Emil, helps Aicha train for the club championship and they fall in love. But the rules of life are not as simple as the rules of kung fu, and Aicha is forced to decide who she is and what she wants.Written by
In regards to comparisons with Bend It Like Beckham I would say this film is like it's older mature cousin. Bend It Like Beckham was cute, fun with a traditional Hollywood fairytale story. This film strips all the Hollywood fairytale and plonks the story in the mundane real world. The romance is careful and considered with real world reactions, the family reconciliation doesn't leave you with a happy happy family feeling, the Yoda equivalent offers opportunities but no answers and seems helpless through most of the film and the main character's kung fu obsession doesn't end with all conquering victory.
What you do get instead is a character tug of war where one side wants her to be a traditional Turkish girl and the other wants her to embrace modern Western idealism. For me this is what makes the film clever. It's not simply about a girl trying to overcome her limitations but a girl fighting to not be boxed in by any ones social norms whether it be Eastern or Western. The Western lifestyle is not held up as some moral superior as it is in many other films of this nature. This film is simply about a girl trying to forge her own path without having to embrace everyone else's values.
As a final note I noticed a lot of people thinking she is being kicked out of her martial arts class at the beginning of the film due to aggression. While it is true she is aggressive she's not being kicked out. The teacher notices her frustration at having no challenging opponents because she has out skilled everyone in the class the teacher feels be better of in a more advanced school. If you ask me this is good teaching and I wish more teachers were this observant.
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