Lion on the Mat (2020)
- Short, Documentary
This short documentary follows Mai Nguyen, a 29 year-old Vietnamese-American martial artist, as she trains for an upcoming Jiu Jitsu match. We witness her training process, and learn how she mentally, as well as physically, prepares. We also see her balance the demands of regular life — job, being a single mother — with training. We meet her four-year-old son Benji, and understand more of the stakes in her decision to keep fighting. Gradually, we learn more about her childhood in Vietnam, her experience immigrating and assimilating to the US, and her return to martial arts as a way to recover from the trauma of her abusive childhood and ex-husband.