Shortlisted for a 2016 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, this elegantly crafted, superbly acted drama tells the story of a fencing instructor in post-war, Soviet-occupied Estonia, and bears similar themes and emotional impact to the superb Monsieur Lazhar. Inspired by real-life events, The Fencer takes its cues from the life of legendary fencing master Endel Nelis, who founded a school for young swordsmen in the 1950s that still runs to this day. Endel hides from Stalin's secret police in a remote Estonian village because of his forced service in the German army during World War II. His attempts to keep a low profile as a physical education instructor at a local school come under threat when he uses his love of fencing to develop a rapport with his students and, consequently, raises the ire of the party-loyalist school principal.
★★★★ "Gorgeous. A pleasure to watch." THE TIMES
Mart Avandi, Ursula Ratasepp, Hendrik Toompere