When David Mamet's Redbelt was announced, the initial simple summary seemed bizarrely incongruous: A noted playwright and dramatist making a film about martial arts? But while Redbelt involves the worlds of Jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts, it's really just another way for playwright, screenwriter and director Mamet to look at the world. As martial arts instructor Mike Terry (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) is taken from his noble (but underfunded) studio and plunged into the greed and glitz of Hollywood and commercial fighting.
As Mike tries to hang on to the things that matter to him in a world that dismisses honor as unprofitable, Mamet's script and direction create a film that somehow puts a philosophical twist on traditional fight films while also embodying everything we love about them. Cinematical spoke with Mamet and Ejiofor in Los Angeles.