Bruce Lee & The Outlaw

Joost Vandebrug

Homeless Nicu lives on the streets of Bucharest. Like many street kids, he is addicted to drugs and survives by begging. Bruce Lee, the self-proclaimed King of the Underworld, takes him under his wing. But as Nicu gets older, he starts to wonder if Bruce Lee is that good of a father figure for him. Oliver Twist set in 2018, this time in the harsh underground world of Bucharest.

Dutch director and photographer Joost Vandebrug has been recording the miserable life of Rumanian street kids since 2011. That year, in Bucharest, he met a group of homeless children called the ‘Lost Boys’. He has kept track of them ever since, and in doing so, he came into contact with the only father figure in their lives, who goes by the name of Bruce Lee, also known as ‘King of the Underworld’. Bruce Lee himself used to be an orphan in one of Ceausescu’s notorious orphanages. As a grown-up man, he now lives in the city’s underground galleries and looks after a group of drug-addicted children, protecting and feeding them but also providing them with drugs. Nicu is one of his protégés, but as the boy gets older he gradually realizes that Bruce Lee might not be the best role model for him. He has to choose between staying with Bruce’s gang or leading a ‘normal’ life above ground. 


Joost Vandebrug
Country of production
Netherlands, The, United Kingdom, Czech Republic
85 minutes
Spoken language
Production company
Revolver Amsterdam