‘The Art of Self-Defense’ is an Offbeat Dark Comedy that Takes on Toxic Masculinity in Teaser Debut

The Art of Self-Defense
Credit: Bleecker Street

‘The Art of Self-Defense’ is about a timid bookkeeper named Casey (Jesse Eisenberg) who after being attacked by a roving motorcycle gang, joins a neighborhood karate studio to learn how to protect himself. The film made its debut this weekend at the SXSW film festival.

Director Riley Stearns has created an audacious, offbeat and an original dark comedy that takes toxic masculinity to absurd extremes.

Under the watchful eye of a charismatic instructor, Sensei (Alessandro Nivola), and hardcore brown belt Anna (Imogen Poots), Casey gains a newfound sense of confidence for the first time in his life. But when he attends Sensei’s mysterious night classes, he discovers a sinister world of fraternity, brutality and hyper-masculinity, presenting a journey that places him squarely in the sights of his enigmatic new mentor.

The Art of Self-Defense
Credit: Bleecker Street

So why Karate?

“I’m afraid. I’m afraid of the dark. I’m afraid of other men. They intimated me. I want to be want to be what intimidates me.” 

Check out the trailer below. No release date has been set yet. Look for our review this week!

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