Supergirl is a 2017 documentary about an eleven-year-old girl named Naomi Kutlin who is a professional power lifter.
From the Twin Cities Film Fest: Naomi has lifted weights far beyond that of any one has ever done before. To explain, I weigh 230 lbs and the most I can lift is maybe 100 lbs. This girl who weighs 97 pounds has lifted well over 250 lbs. This means she could basically lift me holding a box of a books over her head. As the years progress and the level of her lifting becomes more challenging, Naomi suddenly finds her kryptonite when a series of migraine headaches begin happening. Will she overcome these problems or will Supergirl have to hang up her cape.
Not only does Naomi have to deal with physical and mental challenges of being the only female weight lifter of her age group. She also has many other issues a young girl becoming a teenager would have. Dealing with bullies, finding self confidence and finding the perfect dress for her bar mitzvah. Her family plays a huge role and are extremely supportive of her. You may think because of what she does that the parents are cruel to have her do this, but the whole power-lifting was all Naomi’s idea. When the migraines begin happening, the parents are the ones that want her to stop even though she doesn’t. Naomi has a younger brother who is autistic, but she never sees it as a disability and she tries her best to show that he can be just as strong as her. I have a nephew who is also autistic and the love and support he gets from his brothers and sisters is really inspiring as well.
Director Jessie Auritt along with cinematographer Carmen Delaney have made a really wonderful documentary that made me feel like I’m actually with this family rather than watching them. It doesn’t have the usual talking heads I see in other docs, but when it does there is stronger purpose in the narrative for me. One of my favorite sequence is of when the mother admits a disturbing story from her past. Being able to not forget and still be strong for her family is indeed courageous. This sort of attitude of being brave no matter what life throws at you is something I’m sure was instilled in Naomi from birth.
The word inspirational gets thrown around a lot and it’s one that I hear said in every single sports movie and documentary. As much as I do enjoy movies that feature someone who goes beyond the limit of what they are expected to do, none of them quite compare to the story of this little girl who should serve as a strong role model. Not just for little girls who are shown proof that women can be physically stronger than men but for people of all ages and sex to show what happens when people with drive and determination push themselves further than they have before.
Supergirl is one of the rare movies I can show people and tell them, yes, superheroes actually do exist. No matter what you have been told by society of what you can and can’t do. This uplifting film proves without a doubt you can.
Movie description: Supergirl is a 2017 documentary about an eleven-year-old girl named Naomi Kutlin who is a professional power lifter.
Director(s): Jessie Auritt