As I say in my video review above, who knew the feel good movie of 2015 would turn out to be a documentary about a 5-year-old boy suffering from leukemia? But that’s exactly what happens in Batkid Begins, which you have to see to really believe it could – and did – happen. It is simply a heartwarming, inspiring and quite amazing film to experience.
It got its genesis from a very well-publicized event that took place in San Francisco on November 15, 2013. That’s the day 25,000 people lined the streets to cheer on Batkid aka Miles, a young kid dealt a bad hand and fighting leukemia. The Bay Area Chapter of Make-A-Wish set out to make his dream of being a superhero for a day come true. Miles was obsessed with Batman, particularly the Adam West 60’s TV version, which he watched in reruns religiously. In a Wish they thought would be fairly uncomplicated and maybe draw a couple of hundred onlookers, the organization watched it balloon out of control with thousands and thousands tweeting and hitting Facebook with the news. It drew tons of media as Batkid, accompanied by a stuntman/artist/ sometimes-participant in these kinds of things playing Batman, set out to capture the Riddler and the Penguin (both played by volunteers), who were wreaking havoc on the city. SF’s Mayor got involved in it and so did the Chief of Police among many others, who took this on because they wanted to give back and make one kid’s dream come true.
A big hero herself in all of this is Patricia Wilson, head of the local Make -A-Wish group. She pulled off miracles and just watched it all become this global happening thanks to the miracles of social media. And now Julia Roberts has optioned the story to turn into a theatrical film in which she will star as Wilson. It’s the miracle that keeps on giving. And it has a happy ending in case you wondered. Wilson was smart enough to hire five cameramen to shoot the event from all angles as it was happening so when director Dana Nachman got the idea to make a documentary, it turns out the raw material was there. Through interviews and the use of all that footage she has crafted an entertaining and wonderfully satisfying movie that will make you feel proud to be part of the human race. And don’t we need that now!
Warner Bros (home of the current Batmans) will be distributing the New Line Cinema production, that originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, on a platform basis beginning Friday.
Do you plan to see Batkid Begins? Let us know what you think.