A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story (2015) Poster

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10/10
This movie could change your life
pensacolacomputer8 June 2016
This is not really a review of the documentary but more of a thank you to Lizzie.

Its impossible not to shed a tear during this documentary. I think everyone has been bullied at one time or another in their lives. At times I had an extremely tough time in school. I was called many hateful names and each and every time it hurt. I'm a lover not a fighter type. But people just do not realize the impact they have when they pick on other people. Its so sad that people have killed themselves because of this. Some are very young kids with their whole lives ahead of them. So please everyone out there who is having a tough time or being bullied, just remember, it gets better, I promise. Please don't give up, don't give in. Get some help from someone or call one of the hotlines that are available. You are a special person and are here for a reason.

Knowing Lizzie Velasquez, she will probably read each and every review here, so from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you. Thank you for your kindness, courage, inspiration, and motivation to help others. Keep doing what you're doing, you have probably saved many lives. If the majority of the world were a little more like you, it would be a better place to live.
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7/10
An Inspiring Story about the Journey of Anti-Bullying Activist
JustCuriosity14 March 2015
A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story was extremely well-received in its hometown premiere at the Paramount Theatre at Austin's SXSW Film Festival. One can not help but be inspired by the struggle of someone like Lizzie Velasquez to overcome her disabilities and stand up for other kids who have been bullied. It is a remarkable journey and the film works fairly well as memoir of Lizzie's journey and a tribute to the love and devotion of her parents. Her personal story of overcoming adversity and her ability to turn her disability around and use it to help others as an activist is uplifting. It is also shameful that Republicans in the U.S. Congress have been blocking the passage of anti-bullying legislation in the name of small government and local control of schools.

While Lizzie's story is deeply inspiring the film is a little slow and repetitive. It falls into an emerging genre of anti-bullying films such as Bully. It may be in part, because it is designed to tell the story to young people rather than adults. There are a lot of simplistic clichés that don't really get at the causes of bullying or explore why young people become bullies or how adults can interdict and prevent bullying. This would have strengthened the film considerably. In short, Lizzie's personal story is stronger than the film meant to tell her story.
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8/10
See it for Lizzie, period.
bob_meg29 September 2015
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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10/10
Best Film
sriverany22 September 2015
First I would like to start by saying that I found this film compelling and inspirational on many levels.

Lizzie is a warrior on a personal mission to make a positive change in the world.

Not an easy position to take on for anyone, but then we learn about her undiagnosed disease and how she was labeled the "Ugliest Girl in the world" By a YouTube.

The comments on the video are the same we see on the poster, but thousands more. and yet through all the hardships, a Brave heart shines bright in this tiny body as she makes it her personal mission to make the world a better place.

I learned from this film, cried and laughed a few times throughout and I think this has the potential to change peoples hearts.

But only if they take their personal judgments and put them aside to listen to what she has to say.

See it, share it, and maybe we can join her to make the world a little less mean.
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10/10
Great message, great film.
ronvalderrama21 September 2015
In today's world of social media, bullying can hit fast and hard. This film does an amazing job of telling the affects of bullying and how to turn it around.

As someone who has started a company, I think the film also serves as an amazing motivator for people who dream big and go after their passion. Lizzy actually shows you a different way to measure success through her passion. I had the pleasure of meeting her at the premiere and she even took time to send my seven year old daughter a video message. Well worth watching.

Ron Valderrama Founder, Stream Now TV
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9/10
A brave story to tell the world!
Irishchatter9 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I thought Lizzie Velasquez was absolutely amazing for telling her story about her condition to the whole world. This will make people aware of bullying happening everywhere you go. It just makes you feel angry that there are stupid people out there that think it's OK to cyber bully someone that never even met before. Seriously since the Internet and the mobile phone were invented, bullying got way out of control! I felt extremely hurt for Lizzie when a troll on YouTube just posted a sick video of her being called 'The Ugliest Woman in the World'. I would seriously would love to know who that was and get them onto to the documentary to make them see for themselves! I hope that person gets arrested and not be let onto the Internet. Unfortunately there's too many of them out there to sort out but it wouldn't be a harm for a little revenge.

I would consider YouTube the worst website with a lot of cyber bullying involved. I think YouTube should really get their arses in gear and ban users that need to be banned. Especially whenever you make a comment on a video, any users can strike you immediately without you realising it!

I think Lizzie is such an amazing little person and she is definitely way better then the people that bully her. If I was her, I would too put them aside and just realise life isn't always hunky dory, it's just some of us haven't grown up to be confident or cope with changes as human beings. So life is short, we just gotta do our best to live!
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10/10
amazing
mwahtera21 September 2015
incredible, inspiring movie. not a dry eye in the theater, moving and hopeful. can't say enough great things about this film and its filmmakers. Lizzie is an inspiration - she is a role model for all. this movie is worth seeing - its entertaining and well done. there wasn't a dry eye in the theater and everyone stayed to discuss & provide meaningful dialogue. i am amazed by this film and everyone needs to see it. in a landscape where there are so few movies that inspire - this is one that hits a chord with many. it makes us rise up and become better versions of ourselves. it was a few hours well spent. truly amazing. more than impressed with the director and her ability to capture the true spirit of Lizzie and those around her. see this film now.
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10/10
Powerfully inspiring
clintdavis22 September 2015
POWERFULLY INSPIRING I was fortunate to see this movie at the SXSW Film Festival. The movie paints a beautiful portrait of Lizzie Velasquez and her family. One of the primary messages I took from the movie was the importance of a family's love in enabling a child to rise about challenges. The movie shows how Lizzie's parents and siblings raised her surrounded with their complete and unconditional love. The movie contains a great deal of serious content about bullying, but the movie is also full of joy and many humorous scenes that are truly endearing. Ultimately, the message of the movie is optimistic in that one person, especially a person surrounded with the love of an awesome family, truly can change the world for the better.
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9/10
Very moving and inspiring portrait of a truly brave soul
Woodyanders31 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Elizabeth "Lizzie" Vasquez was born with a rare condition that gives her a freakishly gaunt appearance due to the fact that she's unable to gain weight. A victim of vicious bullying both in grade school and especially on the internet (someone cruel person posted a video of Vasquez calling her "The Ugliest Woman in the World"), Vasquez decided to fight back in a unique way by becoming a successful motivational speaker who encourages people to embrace who they are and eventually going to Washington, D.C. to lobby for an anti-bullying bill. Director Sara Bordo does an excellent job of capturing Vasquez's infectiously exuberant personality, indomitable spirit, and huge courageous heart, all of which make this tiny and fragile, yet fierce and determined lady a genuinely inspirational real-life heroine. A lovely and uplifting film.
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10/10
THANK YOU FOR BEING PRESENT WITH SO MANY OF US!
knowngrow11 November 2018
From Morgan to Lizzie Velasquez November 11, 2018

To You Lizzie,

I was not aware of your life's work before today--or of your ability to touch and encourage the lives of so many. I myself live in relative isolation; most of my family has either passed on, or is living in far-off countries. I write in hopes that you may read this note.

Lizzie, thank you for sharing yourself and some moments from your life experience with so many of us. In the last hour, I have watched your TEDx talk twice, as well as the trailer of your recent film A Brave Heart. In a few minutes, I'll order your DVD.

I love the messages you so generously share with all of us. Today, you changed how I see myself. Having just been introduced to you through your online presence, I suddenly feel less "trapped" between wanting to change how I look, and being deathly afraid to change at all--and resenting this "uninvited dilemma."

I deal with a different biological syndrome than you do. I'm trans, and I have known this since I was three years old. As a kid, I always wanted to change my appearance to that of a girl and to live, work, learn and love as a woman among women.

You are a beautiful young woman, and a generous, lovely person. I hear it in your voice, and I see it in your eyes; your joy in living encourages all of us. I'm a retired educator and, in less than a day, you are teaching me to love myself, and to be grateful for the many, many blessings of my life.

Already, you are encouraging me to ask, "Morgan, how do you truly define yourself?" This is a precious invitation to new becoming; you free me from fear, and I am very grateful for your guidance. It's as if you are giving me a new basis upon which to know, accept, and love my own gift of Life.

Bless you and thank you, Lizzie. You are a spunky, intelligent, lovely young woman. You give life to so many (and so very visible in the faces of your packed TEDx audience), and I am very grateful for my connection today with your wisdom and your presence with all of us.

Sincerely,

Morgan
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