Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bobby Fischer Against the World Documentary this Sunday

Right up the street from the Boylston Chess Club, the Somerville Theater is hosting a 90 minute documentary, Bobby Fischer Against the World, as part of the Independent Film Festival.

The one-time showing is at 2:45 PM on Sunday, May 1st. Here is a little blurb about it (also available here):

Bobby Fischer: the name evokes at once the spectacular brilliance of arguably the greatest chess player of all time, and a notorious reclusiveness on par with the likes of J.D. Salinger. In 1972, the reputation of the entire free world rested on Fischer’s ability to defeat Russian Boris Spassky for the World Chess Championship in a tense game of intellectual strategy and psychological warfare that mimicked the Cold War itself. Thirty years later, the former hero’s anti-U.S. ravings prompted the government to threaten him with arrest if he ever set foot on this country’s soil again.

Director Liz Garbus (SHOUTING FIRE: STORIES FROM THE EDGE OF FREE SPEECH, IFFBoston 2009) and late editor Karen Schmeer (THE FOG OF WAR) draw us into the strange world of Bobby Fischer, from his early chess monomania to a careful dissection of the legendary World Championship games, to his descent into a world of conspiracy theories, religious fanaticism, and anti-Semitism. Perhaps most fascinating are friends’ and experts’ speculations that chess itself—with its emphasis on suspicion and excessive forethought—may have induced or at least aggravated his debilitating psychosis and paranoia. Were Fischer’s genius and his eccentricity related? Or was the structure of the game the only thing keeping him from spiraling into madness?


Robert Oresick said...

Thanks for this notice. I hadn't heard about this screening. bob

Rihel said...

I heard half the chess club attended the screening! Any reviews?