Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable is a documentary by Aaron Lieber about the life of one-armed surfing legend Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack when she was 13 years old.
Using old interviews, contemporary interviews with Hamilton, news footage and home video, the documentary explores the effects the attack had on her life. It looks at not only how the attack influenced her physically as an athlete, but also spiritually and emotionally as a teenage girl who was thrown into the media spotlight.
Christian faith; recovery from injury
Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable includes frequent discussions of the shark attack in which Bethany Hamilton lost her arm when she was 13. Although these discussions aren’t very detailed, the descriptions of her blood loss and recovery might distress some viewers.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Nudity and sexual activity
Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable shows Bethany and her husband kissing several times.
The following products are displayed or used in Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable:
- Rip Curl surfing and swimwear products
- Roxy swimwear
- Red Bull
- Corkcicle drinkwear.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable is an inspirational documentary about surfer Bethany Hamilton and her journey from shark attack victim to professional surfing legend. This movie is beautifully shot and offers an insight into Hamilton’s adult life.
Although this movie is undeniably inspirational and features a strong female role model, it might lack interest for some viewers because it focuses as much on surfing as it does on Hamilton’s story. Likely to appeal to surfing enthusiasts, the movie is suitable for children over 13 years, with parental guidance recommended for children aged 8-13 years because of distressing themes related to the shark attack.
These are the main messages from this movie:
- Even in the face of great adversity and tragedy, people are stronger and more resilient than they think.
- Acknowledging and speaking up when we need help or support is vital in overcoming difficulties.
- With hard work, determination and courage, people can achieve great things.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:
- dedication, motivation and perseverance when following a passion
- gratitude for life, health and support
- the value of difficult experiences in understanding and helping others – for example, through disability advocacy.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:
- the risks of swimming or surfing in dangerous conditions – for example, in large waves – or without supervision or someone knowing where you are
- the difficulties and stresses that media attention can lead to.