A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story full movie review - See it for Lizzie, period.
It's rare that a documentary has such an explosively powerful subject at its center that you wonder sometimes if a frame will contain her, but Lizzie Velasquez *is* that subject.
Velasquez was born with a disfiguring disease that she's never let stop her once. Sara Hirsh Bordo effectively introduces her and if you can get through the first ten minutes of this film without choking up, you're made of stone. And that's not a reaction of pity... it's one of admiration and courage for her and her amazing family and friends.
What Lizzie went through, when a group of mean-spirited teens threw a video of her up on You Tube and how she positively transformed what could have been a suicide-inducing experience (for most people) is uplifting to say the least. She didn't let them win... she fought fire with fire and won hearts in the bargain.
I will say that I don't think Bordo went deep enough into Lizzie's psyche with this film, or into what I think is supposed to be the major thrust of the piece (and long overdue): Lizzie's fight to finally hold kids and parents accountable for the criminal act of bullying. I felt there was more to Lizzie's story that might have been even more painful than the You Tube stuff and Bordo perhaps just didn't want to dwell too much on the negatives.
It doesn't matter in the end because Velasquez steals the show with her effervescent sunshine optimism (even when she's looking very beaten and tired she still radiates hope).
This doc should be mandatory viewing for teens. It's occasionally too slight for its own good but then again, there are few directors who could really measure up to the potency of a subject with this kind of immediacy and not steal her thunder.