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A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story    cover photo

A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story 2015


Distributed by Tugg, Inc., 855-321-8844

Directed by Sarah Hirsh Bordo
DVD , color, 88 min.

High School - General Adult
Activism, Adolescence, Biography, Bullying, Family, Genetics, Legislation, Social Media

Date Entered: 11/30/2016

Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

Lizzie Velasquez always knew she was different than other children. In and out of hospitals throughout childhood with an undiagnosed genetic disorder that prevented her from gaining weight, Lizzie faced other physical challenges as well. Despite these obstacles, and with strong support and care from her family, friends, and community, Lizzie participated fully in local activities. It was not until she turned 17 and stumbled on a website proclaiming her to be ‘the world’s ugliest woman’ that she realized the full extent of her physical condition. When efforts to have the site taken down failed, Lizzie started her own video channel to fight back. She later joined with Megan Meier, whose teenage daughter committed suicide in response to a cyber bullying attack, to advocate for the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA). As the film concludes Lizzie is in Washington DC campaigning for bipartisan support of the bill.

Narrated by Lizzie, her family, and the many she has moved to action, the inspirational film follows the motivational anti-bullying speaker as she travels around the world, describing the impacts of cruel and hateful behavior on individuals and society. Although Lizzie’s message is a positive one, the lack of action by Congress on the SSIA is discouraging. Recommended for public and school libraries.