Protagonist

Directed by Jessica Yu

Release Year: 2006
Running Time: 90
Color Type: Color
Country: U.S.
Language: English and German, with English subtitles
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Crew
Directed by Jessica Yu

PROTAGONIST explores extremism through contrasting stories of personal revelation. The film features four individuals who have been devoted to personal odysseys - a cause, a quest, an ideal - to the point of total consumption. At first glance the characters appear disconnected: a former German terrorist, an “ex-gay” evangelist, a bank robber and a martial arts student. But as their stories unfold, one starts to see the parallels between the uncommon, common experience of these four men.

Each character embarks on a journey for valid reasons, only to find himself so deeply embedded in the cause that he becomes the opposite of what he had intended. He is blind to this fact, though, until the forces of fate and character boil and distill to a single moment of dark epiphany. In telling this echoing story, the film asks: what is the path to extremism? In responding to the turmoil of life, where does one draw the line between the reasonable and the unreasonable? And how does one recover from the delusion of certainty?

 

Critical Acclaim

"an enthralling documentary” - Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"Each man’s story as he tells it is riveting, truly stranger than fiction, and awesome, too, in the way of unfathomable humans.“ - Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

"wonderfully accomplished, unexpected and challenging.” - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"'Protagonist' is an irresistible and novel trip into innovative storytelling and satisfying resolutions.“ - John Anderson, Variety

Awards

  • GRAND JURY PRIZE NOMINEE: Sundance Film Festival 2007
    Official Selection San Francisco International Film Festival