If your memory of inspirational Internet stories only extends as far as the last Upworthy story your random high school acquaintance shared on Facebook, the documentary “Batkid Begins” will make sure you never forget the ultimate triumph of our connected world. For one day, everyone united for good in order to fulfill the wish of a 5-year-old leukemia survivor, Miles Scott. That wish, of course, was to be Batman and save his city.
Director Dana Nachman takes us behind the scenes into how it all happened, from the first interview with the Make-a-Wish Foundation to a minute-by-minute account of the day “Batkid” saved
San Francisco Gotham City. It’s nothing short of astounding to see the way Miles’ story strikes a chord with people across the world. From President Obama chiming in on Twitter, retirees flying in from Ohio to volunteer, or good-hearted fans across the world sending in fan mail, Batkid seemed to redeem a small portion of humanity by fulfilling a wish to get back a little bit of the childhood that cancer took away from him.
Admittedly, the documentary does play somewhat like a glorified promo video for Make-a-Wish. But given how committed they were to achieving this desire for such a nobel cause, how could anyone portray these overachievers as anything other than great humanitarians? Unabashedly extolling the virtuous side of our souls feels entirely appropriate in “Batkid Begins.”
Perhaps most impressively, Nachman avoids any maudlin or weepy moments. This is a celebration of life, after all! Who knows if we can expect the same from the Julia Roberts fictional remake in the works. B+ /