Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable
PG | 1h 38min | Documentary | 12 July 2019 (USA)
Synopsis: BETHANY HAMILTON: UNSTOPPABLE tells the story of surfer Bethany Hamilton, who at age 13 was out surfing when she was attacked by a 15-foot tiger shark, a run-in that cost Hamilton her left arm. But not only did Hamilton survive the attack, she was back on the competitive surfing circuit less than a year later. More than a decade later, Hamilton, now a mother, undertakes her greatest challenge: chasing a toddler and the biggest wave of her career. BETHANY HAMILTON: UNSTOPPABLE is the untold story of the heart of a champion and her resilience against all odds to become one of the leading professional surfers of our time. Bethany Hamilton is continuously rewriting the rules on being a fearless athlete, and brings new meaning to the phrase “surfs like a girl.”
Review: Bethany Hamilton captured the world’s attention when as a 13 year old surfing phenom she lost her arm in a shark attack. Fast forward a decade or so and we see her as a wife, future mother, and still inspiring people of all ages. This new documentary by Aaron Lieber is a fantastic look at not only the life of Hamilton but the world of surfing too. It only makes sense as those two go hand in hand. But at the heart of this film is the passion, drive, determination, and faith of this amazing lady.
Lieber met Hamilton on an earlier surfing doc and decided to track her for the next several years. What he didn’t expect was all the video footage from her pre and post shark attack. Using these past moment and new adventures Aaron pieces together a narrative that is awe inspiring and motivating. Even for those who know her story there are so many personal moments in this one that just solidify Hamilton’s can do spirit. Interview clips with her friends and family say what she would never say; that she is hands down one of the best female surfers ever to duck dive into mother nature.
The backdrop of the film is the world of surfing and Lieber captures some of the most beautiful shots of this popular sport. At times you feel like you are entering the barrel of the wave and you will hold your breath as the water crashes around you. We get to see Bethany as she attempts to make a comeback in the pro world after giving birth to her son and the training that goes into that. But in every moment we never see her flustered or doubtful. From the day after the shark attack until we see her attending to a baby between qualifying runs she has that same unstoppable spirit that has touched so many.
Rated PG this doc is safe and a must see for every family member. Everyone will take something away from this fantastic story. Entertaining, inspiring, and motivating. May we all live an unstoppable life.