Opening May 4, 2017
Directed by: Susanne Binninger
Writing credits: Susanne Binninger
Principal actors: Documentary with Andreas Kraniotakes “Big Daddy”, Khalid Taha “The Warrior”, Lom-Ali Eskijew “Leon”
What drives someone to brutally fight in a cage or ring in front of a crowd of people? Susanne Binninger asked herself this question and made the documentary Fighter to look in to the world of MMA (mixed martial arts) fighters. The film follows three fighters through preparation, training and a fight. Andreas Kraniotakes, Khalid Taha and Lom-Ali Eskijew are professional MMA fighters. Although all three were born in Germany, they are outsiders who fight not just against other MMA opponents, but also against stereotypes and hard lives. They allow Binninger, and us the viewers, into their thoughts, struggles and sometimes victories. Their training before a fight brings them to the extreme of their strength and endurance, as does the society they live in. Taha struggles to get German citizenship; Kraniotakes wants to be respected not just for his physical strength but also for his intellect.
Susanne Binninger’s documentary is without narration, the only guides are interviews with the fighters and the film. Music and slow motion are used to emphasize something happening such as the brutal fights the three main characters take part in. The film is very well done and brings across the care and respect fighters have for each other. (Alana L.)