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Strong! (2012)

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A chronicle of top Olympic weightlifter Cheryl Haworth's struggle to defend her champion status in the twilight of her career.


Julie Wyman





Credited cast:
J.S. Gilbert J.S. Gilbert ... Voice Actor (voice)
Cheryl Haworth Cheryl Haworth


Cheryl Haworth is America's top Olympic weightlifter, ranked well above all men and women on Team USA. But at 5 feet 8 inches, weighing over 300 pounds, she doesn't fit easily into standard chairs, clothing sizes, or preconceptions. STRONG! chronicles an athlete's struggle to defend her champion status as her weightlifting career inches towards its inevitable end, exploring the contradiction of a body that is at once celebrated within the confines of her sport and shunned by mainstream culture. Written by Anonymous

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weightlifting | See All (1) »



User Reviews

The filmmakers invested some powerful inspiration in telling this tale
2 October 2015 | by airplanemouseSee all my reviews

Julie Wyman has crafted an elegant film on three-time Olympic weightlifter Cheryl Haworth. The University of California's Institute for Research in the Arts calls it an "experimental documentary film," but to me it's just a very well honed telling of an amazing story about an extraordinary woman.

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.

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Release Date:

18 July 2012 (USA) See more »

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