PAIN IS TEMPORARY, PRIDE IS FOREVER is the title of Joshua Lee’s documentary. The 55 minute film documents the journey of Australian Nick Tower who travels to Thailand and Cambodia to train as a kick boxer and along the way battles with his inner demons.
Perth film followers will recognize Lee from his earlier works like the award-winning A DOLLAR FOR THE GOOD ONES. Lee studied at Murdoch University and the Film and Television Institute and has gone on to work on projects throughout Australia, South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa, before completing ‘Pain is Temporary, Pride is Forever’ his first funded documentary.
Lee had wanted to make a documentary in Cambodia for some time. Growing up in Karawa and Bentley he made strong friendships with his some of his classmates from the Cambodian Community. This eventually led to his visiting Cambodia. He did this on a number of occasions and began volunteering his filmmaking services to Active Help Cambodia, a small NGO working to improve slums surrounding Phnom Penh.
Then in late 2008, his half brother Nick Tower came to spend a couple of months with him in Phnom Penh. The main attraction for Tower was the national sport of kickboxing, which penetrates so many aspects of Cambodian life. Tower alerted Lee of his intention to seriously train and eventually fight in Khmer Kickboxing. Having seen his previous fight in Thailand, after just 3 weeks of training, and also knowing that he was really looking to change the course of his life, Lee says he had no doubt his brother would be successful in his goals.
Tower has lived a wayward life, grappling with alcoholism before discovering kick boxing as a tool to keep him focused and out of trouble. This documentary follows Nick over 6 months as he struggles to keep on a solid path of training in preparation for his ultimate goal – a fight at Cambodia’s CTN stadium. As Nick trains in a range of kick boxing gyms, he comes to learn about the sport, its culture and himself. Pain is Temporary, Pride is Forever is a kick boxers personal journey which explores the importance of the goals we set in life.
NOTE: The review was written a decade ago to promote the screening of the film in Perth (at what was formerly the Film and Television Institute mentioned above). Currently (July 2020) the documentary can be found on Joshua Lee’s Vimeo page along with many of his other films.
AUSTRALIA | 55 minutes | (8/10)