I Can, I Will, I Did
Directed by Nadine Truong
Nadine Truong’s creative collaboration with taekwondo Grand Master Ik Jo Kang is a compelling tale of growth, forgiveness, and perseverance set in New York City. I CAN, I WILL, I DID follows the plight of Ben (Mike Faist), a foster teen who is relentlessly bullied by his classmates. An out-of-control incident leaves Ben hospitalized and temporarily immobile. However, his life perspective is shifted when he meets the exuberant and wheelchair-bound Adrienne (Ellie Lee) and her stern grandfather Kang (playing a fictionalized version of himself). Through their unique ways, the pair helps Ben get back on his feet and uncover new truths about discipline and peace through martial arts.
I CAN, I WILL, I DID hits the right technical marks with lush cinematography and a hypnotic score. Deep and remarkable performances by Faist, Lee, and Kang breathe the life into the film. Ultimately, the well-rounded exploration and bold framing of social issues (especially among adolescents) is the main draw. I CAN, I WILL, I DID won the Audience Award at the 2017 Asian American International Film Festival, and it is a powerful and uplifting story for anyone with the word “hope” in their vocabulary.
— Karen Datangel
Director: Nadine Truong
Co-Presented by: Kearny Street Workshop
Writer: Nadine Truong
Executive Producers: Ik Jo Kang, Jay Shaw
Producers: Artisha Mann-Cooper, Brian Yang
Cinematographer: Eugene Koh
Editor: Ben Kim
Cast: Ik Jo Kang, Mike Faist, Ellie Lee, Jack DiFalco