I Am Good At Karate

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© I Am Good At Karate (Jess Dadds, 2021)

I Am Good At Karate

Portrait of a young teenager with mental health issues who is passionate about karate. They wander around a housing estate in East Kent locked in verbal and physical battles with a hallucinatory demon made of football shirts.

In breaking away from the British tradition of social realism, Jess Dadds’ I Am Good At Karate carves out a new experimental path, one capitalising on non-linear storytelling and expressionistic brushstrokes. The film’s protagonist is a lonesome kid, seen slogging through an almost deserted town, weighted down by their own paralysing self-deprecation and inability to blend in with their peers. Themes of mental health issues, disadvantaged economic background, and urban alienation are seamlessly weaved through this bleak coming-of-age story energised by syncopated rhythm and a warm, saturated colour palette. Filmed in 16mm with occasional inserts of hand-processed black and white 16mm film, I Am Good At Karate illustrates a young kid’s internal journey to self-acceptance amidst institutional failure in addressing the widespread mental health crisis of a generation.

Tekst en keuze doorChoice and text by
Ren Scateni

Ren Scateni is Head of Programme at Encounters Film Festival. They are also a freelance writer and curator mostly interested in experimental and artists' moving image works whose writing has appeared on ArtReview and ArtReview Asia, Hyperallergic, and MUBI Notebook among others. Ren is a Trustee of Alchemy Film & Arts.

Scenario Script Jess Dadds Cast Harley Archer, Jason Williamson, Robert Sanders, Jiggy Bhore, Nathan Filer, Alex Wilkins, Jake Dadds Camera Jamie Harding Editor Montage Ben Matthews Sound Geluid Chase Coley Music Muziek Joe Deamer Production Productie Nina Somers, Thomas Wightman
© All We Ever Wanted Was Everything (Enzo Smits, 2014)
All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

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