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Bruce Lee and the Outlaw 2018

Bruce Lee and the Outlaw

Bruce Lee and the Outlaw

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Six years in the tunnels under Bucharest.

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About Bruce Lee and the Outlaw 💬

Anghelescu Costica Nicusor "Nicu", a young homeless boy, is adopted by Bruce Lee, the notorious "King of the Underworld" and goes to live with him in the tunnels underneath Bucharest.

As Nicu grows up, he starts to realize that perhaps the King of the Underworld is not the perfect father, and has to make a choice between staying in Bruce's gang, or living a 'normal' life above ground.

Filmed over six years, BRUCE LEE & THE OUTLAW is a modern-day Oliver Twist story under the streets of Bucharest.


I have been documenting the Lost Boys since early 2011. Over the years they have told me their incredible stories and I have seen the coming of age of a generation set against a backdrop of drug addiction, powerful friendships, orphanages, harsh winters, and boiling summers.

It started when I gave Costel, one of the Lost Boys, a few pictures that I had shot of him the day before, and he then carefully invited me down to the tunnels to show me where he lived. With no common language, photography became a way to communicate.

Down here in these tunnels is where I met 'Bruce Lee' for the first time, a strong, heavily tattooed man who seemed to be the boss of that particular end of the tunnels. Though not entirely sure what his deal was (likewise, I'm sure) I respected him and I appreciated his openness. Over time, 'Bruce' grew protective over me and he welcomed my presence. Now, I can safely say that we are friends. In fact, in many ways, it is thanks to him that I have been able to continue documenting the Lost Boys.

Costel introduced me to his group of friends: Nicu (13), Stefan (10) and Liviu (14) among many dogs. They are four of the approximately thousand 'third generation' homeless children in Bucharest after the fall of Communism.

For weeks on we hung out on the streets and in the tunnels. I have witnessed many of their run-ins with the law, orphanages, adult drug addicts and each other, but above all, I have seen an ever-present strong sense of friendship, care, and protection of each other.

Unlike the gang behavior that you might expect from a group of parentless adolescent boys, these boys are like a family. I strongly believe that this is partly thanks to Bruce, who they look up to like a father, that they feel safe enough to drop their guard occasionally, so they can be just kids.

The idea of the film was always around. Over the years I have shot many hours of footage but I was never sure of how to proceed. I didn't want to make another sad street kids film. It would not do justice to the kids but also not to myself, as this is not just some film I am working on, this will stay with me forever.

The lost boys helped me think about my own life. And as a close friend recently suggested, I might have become a Lost Boy myself, or maybe I was one from the start.

Joost Vandebrug

Bruce Lee and the Outlaw Movie Details 🎥

Directed by

Joost Vandebrug

Writing Credits

Joost Vandebrug


Florin Hora

Anghelescu Costica Nicusor

Raluca Pahomi

Music by

Daniel Gadd

Cinematography by

Joost Vandebrug

Genre: Documentary

Countries: United Kingdom, Netherlands

Bruce Lee and the Outlaw Official Trailer

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