King MeClosed Captioning
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About the Movie
King Me explores the surreal world of competitive checkers play as seen through the eyes of South African township resident, Lubabalo Kondlo. With the help of some sympathetic Americans and under the radar of oppressive forces in his homeland, Kondlo, traveled to the U.S. to compete in the U.S. National Championship of Checkers. A relative unknown in the legitimate checkers world, Kondlo crushed the competition and earned the right to challenge 20+ year reigning World Champ, Ron 'Suki' King for his title. King Me tells the story of a game that struggles for respect, the men and women who love it and how a seemingly meaningless game can change everything for one man who lives life on the fringes.
A Brilliant Mix of Drama and Human Triumph
KING ME is a tour de force, enticing viewers into the serious fun of championship checkers and into the lives of its endearing-- and occasionally slightly off-kilter-- competitors.
A series of quick interviews and clever but unobtrusive infographics get viewers up to speed on this mostly unknown world, demonstrating both the depth and the beauty of the game. Far from a game of luck or a hobby reserved for small children and grizzled Vermonters, checkers is a challenging and rewarding game of skill, one that demands precision, creativity, and perseverance to puzzle through its billions upon billions of possible positions. But more than that, it’s an awful lot of fun, both as a mind sport and as doorway to a vibrant and dedicated community. Geoff Yaw and his team capture both elements masterfully, so even if you don’t know the Second Double Corner from a hole in the ground you’ll appreciate this clever and genuinely funny look at a pastime you may have forgotten you loved.
KING ME tells the tale of two champions. Lubabalo Kondlo is fighting for a better life for his family amidst crushing and frankly shocking poverty, and against a Kafkaesque bureaucracy with little sympathy for the have-nots of his South African homeland. Ron “Suki” King, by contrast, is on top of the world—checkers is both his career and the fuel for his celebrity, and all Barbados knows his name and his signature hubris. When they clash across the board, much more is at stake than bragging rights and a prize purse: they must prove themselves on a unique and unforgiving battlefield.
Engrossing and inspiring from start to finish, KING ME is well worth your time—and it might just convince you to turn off your iPad and dust off your checkerboard!
Fantastic and unique
What a great film! Excellent job weaving the world chess championships (who even knew this existed!) with the struggles of South Africa!