The Hanged Man is the astonishing true story of Ron Van Clief, a man who is surrounded by trauma and violence and who, in order to survive, must become a superman. In a life fraught with harsh circumstances, fierce racism, and tragic choices, Van Clief does not succumb to victimization. Using his iron, will he becomes “The Black Dragon”, the first black martial arts film star, and one of the greatest martial artists of all time. His determination to win overcomes horrific odds, but exacts a heavy toll on his roller coaster life of highs and lows, and more than a few cliff-hangers.
Ron Van Clief’s biography is a microcosm of the American experience in crisis. His father is so abusive that, as a teenager, Ron plots to murder him. Not too many years later Ron is lynched by a gang of racists and left to die. In Vietnam he is forced to become a killing machine. On the Lower East Side of New York, drug lords try to gun down Ron and his beloved child. He struggles through countless relationships with women, all unhappy. He finds himself horribly wealthy and then completely homeless, but neither make him happy. He knows he is deeply damaged inside, and one tragic loss will haunt him forever. Despite all his struggles, Ron Van Clief works towards and attains excellence and fame, becoming a man among men.