April 7, 2011 |
In the opening scene of the new film "Soul Surfer," young Bethany Hamilton (AnnaSophia Robb) finishes a morning session on the waves off the North Shore of Kauai, Hawaii, quickly throws on a modest sundress over her bikini and hurries to join her family at a beachside church service where the congregation sings a hymn called "Blessed Be Your Name. " The scene succinctly encapsulates the priorities of the film's protagonist, yet it's rare for a Hollywood production to so openly embrace any faith for fear of offending potential audience members who might believe differently.
April 5, 2011 |
The movie "Soul Surfer," which opens Friday, tells the true story of Hawaiian teen surfing star Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack and overcame huge odds to get back on her surfboard and compete professionally. Hamilton's inspirational tale provided filmmakers a dramatic focal point for their $18-million movie, which was in large part made possible through the visual wizardry of a small Los Angeles effects company that has also managed to beat the odds amid a tough economy.
June 1, 2004 |
This girl, the publicist says, "is the most difficult interview to get besides Kobe Bryant after a bad game." "She's more famous than Hilary Duff." "She's the first girl to cross that 15 minutes of fame." * On the surf radar, she was just a perky blond blip with potential. Months before the media swarmed her island of coconut palms and broadcast her tragedy to the mainland, she won a surf competition.
November 1, 2003 |
A 13-year-old surfing star had her left arm bitten off by a shark while surfing in clear water Friday morning on Kauai's North Shore, and her best friend's father was credited with saving her life by using a surf leash as a tourniquet. Bethany Hamilton, who has competed in national surfing contests and was expected to go professional, was surfing a quarter-mile off Makua Beach near Haena, in an area known as Tunnels, when the attack occurred about 7:30 a.m.
November 23, 2003 |
She was lying on her surfboard, taking a break after catching some early morning waves, when the gray blur emerged near her left arm as it dangled in the Pacific. Bethany Hamilton was suddenly being jerked back and forth. "I looked down at the red water," she recalled. "Right away, I knew it was a shark and I knew my arm was gone." Bethany, 13, lost more than half her blood and all but four inches of her arm, although those who witnessed the attack say she never screamed or panicked.
June 8, 2004
Somewhere between the shark's feeding frenzy and the media's, young Bethany Hamilton reacted to an unfortunate, permanent injury with grace and good spirits. Our litigious society, the victim industry and classrooms full of sulking students all suggest to me that we have become a nation of anti-Bethanys. Daniel M.E. Landau West Los Angeles