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.

Jess Dadds’ I Am Good At Karate breaks away from the British traditional social realism film style and carves out a new experimental path, using non-linear storytelling and expressionistic brushstrokes. The film’s protagonist is a lonesome kid, 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.

Tekst en keuze doorChoice and text by
Ren Scateni

Ren Scateni is Head of Programme at the Encounters Film Festival. They are also a freelance writer and curator mostly interested in experimental and artists’ moving image work. Their writing has appeared in ArtReview and ArtReview Asia, Hyperallergic, and MUBI Notebook. 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