'Batkid Begins' offers a solid dose of hope

 
 
Posted7/10/2015 5:15 AM
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  • Miles, a 5-year-old cancer patient, lives his dream of becoming the Dark Knight for a day when San Francisco becomes Gotham City in the doc "Batkid Begins."

    Miles, a 5-year-old cancer patient, lives his dream of becoming the Dark Knight for a day when San Francisco becomes Gotham City in the doc "Batkid Begins."

Mini-review: 'Batkid Begins'

When the parents of Miles Scott, a 5-year-old boy suffering from leukemia, contacted the Make-A-Wish Foundation to fulfill his dream of becoming the Dark Knight for a day, executive director Patricia Wilson set the date on Nov. 15, 2013, in San Francisco. And the world rallied.

I saw "Batkid Begins" on its maiden Chicago showing at the Chicago Critics Film Festival in May. It touched me deeply, and I wrote:

I am not suggesting that an 87-minute movie about a 5-year-old cancer patient's wish to be Batman for a day can possibly balance the scales of justice in our troubled world. But I do say Dana Nachman's movie arms us all with a powerful weapon we can use to alter the time we live in; to alter it for the good. That weapon is a four-letter word: hope.

Not some abstract, nebulous, rhetorical concept, but a physical, empirical, tangible thing you can touch, see and hear.

That hope comes from witnessing how a little boy's dream -- to become a superhero so he can help others -- inspires people around the world to rally around him.

"Batkid" is no syrupy valentine to the angels of our better natures. It shows our better natures. We can see them right there on the screen.

If you have the opportunity to see "Batkid," I encourage you to buy a ticket. It won't change our world. But it could change us. Then we can improve the world.

Batman would like that.

"Batkid" opens at the Century Centre in Chicago. Rated PG. 87 minutes. ★ ★ ★

• Dann Gire's Reel Life column appears Fridays in Time out!

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