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The Fencer

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Fleeing from the Russian secret police because of his controversial past, a young Estonian fencer named Endel is forced to return to his homeland, where he finds work as a teacher and starts a sports club for his students. Endel becomes a father figure to his students and starts teaching them his great passion, fencing, which causes a conflict with the school’s principal. Fencing becomes a form of self-expression for the children, and Endel becomes a role model and father figure. He learns to love the children, many of whom have been orphaned as a result of the Russian occupation. When the children want to participate in a national fencing tournament in Leningrad, Endel must make a choice; risk everything to take the children to Leningrad or put his safety first and disappoint them.

Reactions, Awards & Festivals

“Suffused with gorgeous cinematography, the sharp-sweet drama is Finland’s foreign Oscar entry and a pleasure to watch.”

Kate Muir

The Times of London

“Well-acted, smoothly crafted"

Justin Chang


“An affecting portrait of a decent man who risks his life to uphold a bond of trust with his students.”

Marilyn Ferdinand

Chicago Reader

Best Foreign Language Film Nominee - 2016 Golden Globe®

Finland's Official Selection for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, 2016

Cast & Crew
  • Endel : Märt Avandi
  • Kadri : Ursula Ratasepp
  • Principal : Hendrik Toompere
  • Marta : Liisa Koppel
  • Jaan's Grandfather : Lembit Ulfsak
  • Director : Klaus Härö
  • Screenplay : Anna Heinämaa
  • Producer : Kai Nordberg, Kaarle Aho
  • Cinematography : Tuomo Hutri
  • Editor : Tambert Tasuja, Ueli Christen
  • Production Designer : Jaagup Roomet
  • Costume Designer : Tiina Kaukanen
  • Music : Gert Wilden Jr.
Technical Info
  • Production Year : 2015
  • Release Date : 01/05/18
  • Countries of Production : Finland, Estonia
  • Languages : Russian, Estonian, Armenian
  • Running Time : 99 Minutes
  • Screen Ratio : 2.35 : 1
  • Sound : Dolby
  • Color : Color
  • Rating : Not Rated
Theatrical Engagements
Theater Name

Watch SIBYL on Virtual Cinema!

Lacking inspiration for her new novel, psychotherapist Sibyl (Virginie Efira) borrows source material from her newest patient Margot (Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue is the Warmest Color), blurring fiction and reality in this sly, sultry character study from Justine Triet. Find SIBYL playing in select theaters and virtually with a local arthouse under “Theatrical Engagements” in the link below.

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