The Fencer

The Fencer

Klaus Haro (2015)

PG Certificate


Our Score
The messy politics of the postwar Baltic region catch up with a small-town fencing teacher in this Finnish-Estonian drama. For one thing, director Klaus Haro brings to light the terrible injustices faced by Estonians conscripted by the Nazi invaders during the Second World War and who are then hunted down by the secret police when the Soviets assume control. The focus is on real-life fencing champ Endel Nelis (the suitably reserved Mart Avandi) who tries to escape attention, teaching kids in the countryside. But, when his young charges show aptitude for the ways of thrust and parry, they are invited to the All-Soviet championship in Leningrad and Nelis must ask himself whether he is willing to put his life at risk. It's the sort of well-meaning movie where the resolution is never in doubt, but by blending an inspirational-tutor narrative with sporting underdog action it makes for a solid, watchable, if somewhat superficial peek into a rarely explored chapter of history.


A champion fencer fleeing from the Soviet secret service inspires Estonian schoolchildren to take up the sport. Drama, starring Mart Avandi and Ursula Ratasepp.

Cast & Crew

Endel Nelis Mart Avandi
Kadri Ursula Ratasepp
Principal Hendrik Toompere
Jaan's grandfather Lembit Ulfsak
Marta Liisa Koppel
Jaan Joonas Koff
Aleksei Kirill Karo
Lea Ann-Lisett Rebane
Director Klaus Haro
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Other Information

Language: Estonian / RussianColourTheatrical distributor: Munro Film ServicesReleased on: 30 Sep 2016