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A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story (2015)

2:16 | Trailer
A documentary following the life of Lizzie Velasquez, her triumphant journey to the other side of bullying, and her mission to inspire and empower a more positive online environment.


Sara Hirsh Bordo (as Sara Bordo)


Michael Campo
6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Hillary Clinton ... Herself
Lizzie Velasquez ... Herself


A BRAVE HEART: The Lizzie Velasquez Story is a documentary following the inspiring journey of 26 year old, 58 pound Lizzie from cyber-bullying victim to anti-bullying activist. Born with a rare syndrome that prevents her from gaining weight, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Velasquez was first bullied as a child in school for looking different and, later online, as a teenager when she discovered a YouTube video labeling her "The World's Ugliest Woman." The film chronicles unheard stories and details of Lizzie's physical and emotional journey up to her multi-million viewed TEDx talk, and follows her pursuit from a motivational speaker to Capitol Hill as she lobbies for the first federal anti-bullying bill. Written by Sara Hirsh Bordo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Bullying stories are famous for having victims, not heroes

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving bullying, and for brief strong language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »




English | Spanish

Release Date:

25 September 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lizzie Project See more »

Filming Locations:

Austin, Texas, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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User Reviews

See it for Lizzie, period.
29 September 2015 | by bob_megSee all my reviews

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.

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