Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
PG-13, 1998, Universal
Main Point: If we simply love others, we will stand out and be a witness.
Attention Grabber: Movie – Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
This movie is about Bruce Lee’s life, as he struggles through racism, paralysis, and ancient Chinese traditions as he follows his dream of bringing the art of Kung Fu to America. It’s a beautiful movie, with a wonderful demonstration of Bruce Lee’s strong character. Unfortunately, it just has to have a sex scene; luckily, it doesn’t show anything. But other than the premarital sex, it’s a fantastic movie of perseverance and courage.
Tonight’s discussion requires showing two clips from the film. You’ll want to practice cueing up these start points between discussions.
Tonight we’re going to talk a little about Bruce Lee. He was a very famous martial artist several years back. He moved to America from China in the 60’s, when there was a lot of racism happening. This clip features Bruce Lee and his girlfriend Linda. Bruce is asking Linda’s mother if he can marry Linda. Pay close attention to the mother’s response to this idea.
Show Clip 1: Yellow Babies
This particular clip takes place at Linda’s mother’s house. Bruce and Linda are very nervous, and the mother is very forward with her response. She tells them that they shouldn’t be together, since their babies will be accepted by neither Chinese nor whites, and Bruce ends up storming out of the house. The clip begins at about 51:36. (Be careful though, because right before this scene is a shot of Linda in her underwear.) The scene ends with Linda storming out after Bruce, which is at approximately 53:57.
- Scene Script:
MOTHER: Sugar Mr. Lee?
MOTHER: How many sugars?
BRUCE: Just one.
MOTHER: Linda, you want some coffee too?
LINDA: No thank you.
MOTHER: (pauses) Are you pregnant?
MOTHER: Okay. (deep breath) Okay. Let’s look at this from all angles. How will you live?
BRUCE: I’m opening a school in Oakland. Maybe one in Palo Alto. Soon it’ll become a chain like McDonald’s.
MOTHER: I don’t want to rain on your parade, Mr. Lee, but the world needs hamburgers. It doesn’t need Judo.
BRUCE: Kung Fu.
BRUCE: More and more people are studying it all the time. That’s how I put myself through school.
MOTHER: Okay, I’ll give you that. So let’s get down to the real issue. Children. After all, Linda, that’s what marriage is really about, children.
LINDA: We want to have children. Some day.
MOTHER: Ah, but what will they be? They won’t be white, and they won’t be oriental. They’ll be some kind of half-breed, and they won’t be accepted by either side.
BRUCE: They’ll be American. Linda’s American, I’m American.
MOTHER: You’re an American citizen, you’re not really an American.
(BRUCE almost spills his coffee and puts it down, breaking some of the china. He begins to leave.)
MOTHER: You’d better put a Band-aid on that cut, Mr. Lee.
LINDA: (cries out to Bruce as he leaves) Bruce. Bruce!
MOTHER: I spoke to him like a gentleman, you heard me. My favorite china.
MOTHER: You can do better than that. Believe me, you’ll forget about him in a month. Do you really want to have yellow babies? Can you imagine that? Yellow babies?
LINDA: Yes, I can.
MOTHER: Oh, Linda, now listen to me. All this will do is bring you pain. Linda, listen to me! I can’t allow it, I’m sorry, but I can’t allow it.
LINDA: It’s not up to you.
LINDA: Mom, it’s not up to you! (she leaves)
MOTHER: Linda! Linda! Linda, stop. Wait. Linda!
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- ASK A FEW: How do you think most people would respond to this situation?
- ASK A FEW: If you were Bruce Lee, how would you have responded to Linda’s mother?
- ASK THE SAME FEW: How do you think this would affect your relationship with her after this conversation?
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: After this conversation, Bruce and Linda got married and had a child. If you were Bruce, would you allow Linda’s mother to come and see the child?
Let’s see how Bruce Lee handles the situation when Linda’s mom comes to visit. A few years have passed, and Bruce is actually recovering from a broken back, so don’t be surprised that he’s in a wheelchair.
In this scene, Linda’s mother comes to visit Bruce and Linda. It’s the first time she’s seen them since Linda left with Bruce in the scene shown earlier. But now, Linda answers the door and immediately shows bitterness toward her mom. But Bruce Lee instantly begins calling her “Grandma” and invites her in. He even allows her to hold Brandon (the baby), and never once shows any recognition of the argument they had had long ago. It’s a great scene, showing compassion at its finest. The scene begins at 1:14:11 with a knock on the door, and ends with the silhouette of the three adults and a baby carriage walking together. It ends at 1:17:18.Scene Script:
MOTHER: May I come in?
MOTHER: I like your hair.
LINDA: Come on, Mom, I don’t want to chit-chat with you. What are you doing here?
MOTHER: I came to see you.
LINDA: Did you come to see me? Or did you come to see the yellow baby?
MOTHER: I think maybe I made a mistake. (She begins to leave.)
BRUCE: (voice in background) Brandon! It’s Grandma! Grandma’s come to see you! (he comes into view) Come on in, Grandma! There’s someone you ought to meet. Come on.
MOTHER: How are you feeling, Mr. Lee?
BRUCE: Oh, like half man, half car.
MOTHER: Glad to hear it.
BRUCE: (whispering) Linda, your mom’s got great legs. Great legs.
MOTHER: He looks… Well he looks like both of you. May I?
(LINDA picks up baby Brandon and hands him to her mother.)
MOTHER: He’s gorgeous. He’s so sweet. You did good, Sweetheart. You sure did good.
BRUCE: Brandon you’re a strong one. Only you could do this.
Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 aloud:
- Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
- ASK A FEW: How did watching this clip make you feel? Did you gain more respect for Bruce Lee? Why?
- ASK SOMEONE: Did Bruce do what most other people would do?
- ASK A FEW: What was it in that moment that set Bruce apart from most people?
- ASK A FEW: Tell about a time in your life when you should have loved someone better, but chose not to. (This might be a good time for you the leader to begin.)
- ASK A FEW: Tell about a time in your life when you did love someone, even though they didn’t deserve it.
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think it was so important for Paul to describe love in this way?
- ASK SOMEONE: Is it always easy to behave in a way that reflects this love that the Bible tells us about?
- ASK SOMEONE: Does it take someone strong or someone weak to be able to love and forgiveness in the way that Bruce Lee did to his mother-in-law?
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: What areas do you need to work on, in showing this kind of love in your life? Who is someone in your life that you might want to start showing more of this kind of God’s love to? What can you do tomorrow, to start this process?
Even though Bruce Lee was a great martial artist and made many really cool movies, many people knew him by his character. Sometimes we are in situations like Bruce and Linda, where we are confronted by someone who we don’t feel like loving, or even worse, we don’t feel deserves our love. But we must remember that God draws the picture of our character if we are to love the way He wants us to love. We must be patient, we must keep no record of wrongs, we must not be easily angered. There are so many “We musts” written in this section of Scripture. But imagine the kind of person that shows this kind of love. That person isn’t a “softy.” Bruce Lee was not a softy. He just went against what normal people would do by not keeping a record of wrongs, and showing love to someone who didn’t deserve it. This week, let’s get past our own pride and suck it up and just love the people around us. Today you shared (or at least should have shared) one thing you’re going to do tomorrow to begin this process. Remember it, and remember how God wants us to love.
Written by Matt Furby
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.