Look Out Gotham: Here Comes Batkid!

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Batkid Begins Batman Make-A-Wish Foundation San Francisco

BATKID BEGINS isn't an overly lengthy documentary. However, it did take me several atempts to watch it. I blame a manufacturer's defect in the disc, that caused the image to go blurry after five minutes or so of watching it (and which somehow made everything else I looked at blurry as well until I wiped my eyes).

Okay, I admit it -- I'm turning into a lachrymose old softie in my old age. Part of it has to do that I have a young boy of my own now, and when I see stories like this it's easier to put myself into their roles.

The story centers on young Miles, a little boy diagnosed with leukemia. During his treatment, he ends up qualifying for the Make-A-Wish program, and his wish is to be the real Batman. Superhero wishes are things that Make-A-Wish has worked out in the past, but this time they decided to think big -- and transform San Francisco into Gotham City for a day.

However, once the story started getting around, it went from a big idea to an enormous phenomenon. Social media took up the banner of #SFBatkid, and soon tens of thousands of people were thronging the streets to see Miles -- in full bat-regalia (and owning it!) -- driving with Batman to save a damsel in distress, stop the Riddler's robbery, and save mascot Lou Seal from the Penguin...all before bedtime and being presented with the key to the city by the mayor.

It's a feel-good story, overall, and one that documents a milestone in the history of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It also speaks to the innate goodness in the hearts of people worldwide, serving to restore a flagging faith in humanity. And, of course, it's another example of how the mythology of Batman reaches out to so many people, young and old alike.

It's a wonderful documentary that takes you behind the scenes of how this global event came to be. But have the tissues at the ready.

4.5 / 5.0