Bobby Fischer Against The World


Posted July 17, 2011 in Cinema Reviews

NCH – 25 sep-3 oct-22 Desktop

Both an exploration (however shallow) of the bizarre life of Bobby Fischer and a ballad to his greatness, Bobby Fischer Against The World is an unusual viewing experience, not least because it feels like a TV documentary (it was produced by HBO) but because it retrospectively endorses the racist propaganda of US politics during the Cold War through the representation and non-engagement thereof. Henry “History’s Greatest Monster” Kissinger is one of the talking heads involved, while Garry Kasparov inadvertently dampens American hysteria as one of the only people interviewed who doesn’t refer to Fischer as “the greatest chess player of all time” while simultaneously actually being the greatest chess player of all time himself. Fischer makes for a fascinating character study, but the film never delves too deeply beneath the surface to truly unnerve or convey the gravity of his mental breakdown.

Words: Oisín Murphy

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