Watch American Wrestler: The Wizard
- 1 hr 57 min
Set in the late 1970s, American Wrestler: The Wizard is the inspiring story of a young Iranian boy named Ali (George Thomas). After the Iranian revolution of 1979, Ali's family flees their home in Iran, seeking refuge in the United States. They settle in a small, working-class town in California, where Ali struggles to fit in at his new high school.
Ali's lack of English language skills and unfamiliarity with American customs make him an easy target for bullies on the school wrestling team. But when Coach Plyler (William Fichtner) recognizes Ali's natural athletic abilities, he encourages him to join the wrestling team. Ali quickly discovers that the sport not only helps him to assimilate into American culture but also gives him a purpose.
As Ali becomes more involved in wrestling, he begins to develop a friendship with one of his teammates, Moby (Ali Afshar), who is also of Iranian descent. Moby's father, a former wrestler himself, teaches Ali traditional Iranian wrestling techniques that give him an edge in competition.
Despite facing obstacles both on and off the mat, Ali proves himself to be a talented wrestler. He earns a place on the school's varsity wrestling team and goes on to compete in the state championships. His newfound confidence and athletic success earn him acceptance from the other students at his school and allow him to come to terms with his identity as an Iranian immigrant in America.
Throughout the film, Ali's journey is paralleled with the story of famed Iranian wrestler Gholamreza Takhti, who was a hero to many Iranians in the 1960s and 1970s. Takhti's wrestling accomplishments and social activism are an inspiration to Ali, who sees him as a role model and a symbol of hope for all Iranians.
American Wrestler: The Wizard is a heartwarming, coming-of-age story that portrays the American Dream through the eyes of an immigrant. It highlights the importance of sports, mentorship, and cultural identity in shaping one's sense of self and belonging. The film's talented cast, including George Thomas, William Fichtner, and Ali Afshar, deliver powerful performances that tug at the heartstrings and inspire audiences of all ages.
American Wrestler: The Wizard is a 2016 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 57 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1.