The name “Bobby Fischer” is synonymous with high-level chess, even decades after the Brooklyn-born grandmaster won his World Chess Championship match against the reigning champion from the Soviet Union, Boris Spasskey. Staged during the height of the Cold War, the match was seen by both sides as an opportunity to prove intellectual superiority. Pawn Sacrifice dramatizes this iconic battle-of-wits, but also delves into the psychological effects of obsession, dedication, and the heavy burden of worldwide expectation– even on the strongest of minds.
The strongest fantasy stories depict a world which is different from our own while telling stories which are fundamental to the human condition. In the case of Pleasantville, the idyllic 1950s town is an actual paradise where the high school basketball team never loses, the fire department merely has to rescue cats trapped in trees, and dinner is always ready when you come home. But perfection, safety, and comfort are not the default, and when two real-life children introduce new ideas to the sheltered town, Pleasantville transforms from black-and-white safe space into vivid real-life.