Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable (AU - PG/US - PG) 

In a word: Determined

Bethany Hamilton Unstoppable

The story of pro surfer, Bethany Hamilton, has inspired millions around the globe. Her tale has been told countless times in the news, books, films and talk shows. Now, her extraordinary journey is presented as an honest documentary, aptly named, Unstoppable.

From a young age, Bethany had the skills and determination to become one of the world’s best surfers. These ambitions were shattered when, at the age of 13, a tiger shark attacked, taking her left arm completely off. Astonishingly, just four weeks after the injury, she was back in the water surfing and was soon winning tournaments once again. 

"Director/cinematographer, Aaron Lieber, chooses to tell Bethany’s story without any undue sentimentality and avoids sensationalising the events. Much like Bethany herself, there is an honest, understated humility in the presentation, allowing the images to speak for themselves. And those images are breathtaking."

This well-documented part of Bethany’s life has been the subject of her book, Soul Surfer, which subsequently became a Hollywood film. She became the darling of the media and a poster child for the evangelical church. Her story was featured in news stories, TV cameos, motivational speeches and dozens of talk shows including Oprah and Ellen. The first 45 minutes of Unstoppable recounts this part of her life, then devotes the rest of the film to documenting the new challenges Bethany faces as an adult.  

Now married, with a young child, Bethany juggles the pressures of being a new mother, the demands of celebrity status and her own high standards as she re-enters the competitive surf scene. It is a portrait of sheer determination and remarkable ability. 

Director/cinematographer Aaron Lieber chooses to tell Bethany’s story without any undue sentimentality and avoids sensationalising the events. Much like Bethany herself, there is an honest, understated humility in the presentation, allowing the images to speak for themselves. And those images are breathtaking.  

As Bethany glides through the waters, with grace and power, tackling some of the biggest and most dangerous waves in the world, she demonstrates how much can be accomplished when we focus on what we have instead of dwelling on what is lost. 

Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable inspires the viewer to pursue their God-given passions. For Bethany, her passion is the ocean. Though the waves beat her down, and her arm was lost to the sea, Bethany has found new life and healing in those same waters.