“A lot of life metaphors carry from the ocean back to land,” says Bethany Hamilton, who overcame the loss of an arm to become a champion surfer. “You have these humongous waves, and you’ve just gotta paddle out there and ride them, regardless.”
Now 29, Hamilton was a 13-year-old surfing hot shot when she nearly died from a vicious shark attack. Two years later, she was the national amateur champ, and went on to the pro circuit. The documentary Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable tells her life story (Hollywood-ized in the 2011 Helen Hunt movie Soul Surfer) — growing up in Hawaii, the drive to become a champion (before and after losing an arm), becoming a mother, and inspiring others. Plus, some gnarly wave action.
The directors and the executive producer will be in attendance for Q&A after the 7:15 p.m. screening. Thursday, February 21. Wine reception at 6:30. $20. Sebastiani Theatre, 476 First St. E. Sonomafilmfest.org.