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Seeds of Resiliency

Despite its clunkily sententious title, Susan Polis Schutz's edifying docu preaches by example.

Cast:
With: Candace Lightner, Aaron Fotheringham, Ernest Michel, Michael Stevens, Fanny Lebovits, Edie Eger, Rufus Hannah, Walter Lam, Sang-Mook Lee.

Individuals overcome adversity by turning liabilities into assets in “Seeds of Resiliency.” Despite its clunkily sententious title, Susan Polis Schutz’s edifying docu preaches by example, letting interviewees demonstrate their success. A teenager with crippling spina bifida transforms his wheelchair into an extreme sports vehicle, performing death-defying double backflips on a skateboard run; a paraplegic geophysicist communicates with global audiences via a mouth-activated computer mouse; three Holocaust survivors, one a still-beautiful psychologist whose obvious serenity itself embodies hope, publicly testify about their experiences to prevent repetition of the historical horror. The hourlong docu, which bowed theatrically Nov. 23, could inspire at educational venues.

The “Resiliency” sagas continue: The founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving turned angry grief over her daughter’s death into militant activism. A Stage IV lung cancer victim became a tireless spokesman for the American Lung Assn., cheerfully counseling fellow sufferers and forcefully lobbying Congress. A political refugee from war-torn Uganda, founder of the Alliance for African Assistance, helped thousands escape persecution. In a final turnabout involving filmmaking and self-image, a homeless alcoholic, exploited in sadistic “Bumfights” videos online, here recounts his road to sobriety, employment and advocacy.

Seeds of Resiliency

Documentary

Production: An Iron Zeal Films production. Produced, directed by Susan Polis Schutz.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Aron Briwn, Larry Warner, Manny Miranda, Rob Amato, Scott Killian, Steve Skinner; editor, Bret Granato. Reviewed on DVD, New York, Nov. 24, 2012. Running time: 57 MIN.

With: With: Candace Lightner, Aaron Fotheringham, Ernest Michel, Michael Stevens, Fanny Lebovits, Edie Eger, Rufus Hannah, Walter Lam, Sang-Mook Lee.

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