Pulling John


Pulling John

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John Brzenk isn't a household name unless you follow the sport of arm wrestling -- but if you do, Brzenk is to his sport what Michael Jordan is to basketball or Muhammad Ali is to boxing. Born in 1964, Brzenk began competing seriously at age 16, and two years later he won his first world championship. Since then, Brzenk has been the man to beat in any serious international competition, and he has held the world arm wrestling championship for close to a quarter of a century. But at the age of 40, Brzenk finds himself facing the same questions that vex any great athlete -- should he retire while he's still at the top, or wait for time, age and stronger, younger competitors to strip him of his title? Filmmakers Vassiliki Khonsari and Sevan Matossian spent four years following Brzenk as he traveled the world competing in arm wresting tournaments, and Pulling John is a documentary that follows the athlete during a pivotal moment in his career. Pulling John also profiles two men regarded as likely candidates to take Brzenk's place as arm wrestling's king of the mountain -- Alexey Voevoda, a Russian from a long line of military heroes who wants to bring the championship home to his country, and Travis Bagent, a spirited young American who has followed Brzenk's career since he was a child and sees himself as the heir to his throne. Pulling John received its world premiere at the 2009 South By Southwest Film Festival.

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