Films that Change Everything

This month, Parvati Magazine provides a roundup of current and relevant films for you to consider.

A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story is a documentary about a young woman who became famous for very hurtful reasons, and chose to transcend it. Lizzie Velasquez has a very unusual appearance having been born with a rare medical condition that makes it all but impossible for her to gain weight. She experienced bullying and isolation from the time she entered kindergarten. One day in high school, she discovered that her image had been uploaded to YouTube under a video titled “The World’s Ugliest Woman” which had 4 million views and was the subject of incredibly hateful comments which we won’t reprint here. Suffice to say, they could crush the spirit of any teenaged girl. But after Lizzie got over her shock and hurt at experiencing such hatred directed her way, she decided not to let it define her, or to return hatred for hatred. Instead, she chose to pursue her studies and live her dreams so that she could show she was so much more than how these negative comments portrayed her. She has forgiven her online haters and become an anti-bullying advocate. Check out this film for inspiration from a fierce, yet gentle and generous soul. It’s screening across North America and available online in the US.

This Changes Everything was an official selection at the Toronto Film Festival and is continuing to show at other film festivals in advance of a mainstream release. Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller of the same name, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines of climate change, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond. Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better. The film is available for educational or community screenings on request.

He Named Me Malala is a documentary by Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) about the young woman Malala Yousafzai, who recovered from a Taliban assassination attempt in 2012 to be an ever more powerful advocate for human rights and education. Last year, she received the Nobel Peace Prize at 17 – the youngest Nobel laureate ever. Astoundingly, she says she has never felt anger towards her attackers. We learn that the name Malala, given by her father, refers to a famous young Pashtun woman who fell in battle after inspiring the Afghan army with her courage. The documentary explores the question of whether this choice of name in some way foreshadowed her life and what it means for a young woman to carry a name with such associations. Malala’s courage rings through the film. In theatres beginning October 2.


by Parvati Magazine Staff