A chronicle of top Olympic weightlifter Cheryl Haworth's struggle to defend her champion status in the twilight of her career.A chronicle of top Olympic weightlifter Cheryl Haworth's struggle to defend her champion status in the twilight of her career.A chronicle of top Olympic weightlifter Cheryl Haworth's struggle to defend her champion status in the twilight of her career.
Cheryl Haworth is a documentarian's dream: a true character who appears to need no screenwriter's embellishment. She comes across with warm humor and genuine determination. Her determination may not seem unusual for those who follow great athletes, but her humanity is something special.
The film depicts Cheryl as vulnerable as equally as she is a go-getter, and yet it all somehow avoids cliché (better than I can seem to manage in this review). Her story is a home run, a slam dunk, a sure thing (just to beat the dead cliché a little more). But what really fascinated me about the movie was the creative documentary techniques Julie Wyman employed.
Generally not one with qualms about revealing spoilers about forthcoming films, I'm actually loath to reveal too many of Julie's creative storytelling mechanisms as they really made the experience for me. And besides, I'll probably steal some of them for my own future documentaries.
Let me at least say that Julie and her team really thought this film through and invested some powerful inspiration into its telling. A very brief educational segment explained weightlifting more succinctly and appealingly than anything I've ever seen. The visual variety throughout the film, including what I can only describe as a love scene— or at least highly sensual foreplay— with a gold 1979 Lincoln Continental Mark V, really carries viewers eagerly through the one-hour experience.
- Oct 2, 2015