Lindsey Stirling: Brave Enough

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgas..., Common Sense Media
Lindsey Stirling: Brave Enough Movie Poster Image
Pop violinist performs, shares her pain in candid docu.
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 75 minutes

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

All successful people have failed many times. Success contains failure. Don't give up.
 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lindsey speaks of surmounting resistance in the entertainment world to her unique talents, as many people told her there was no audience for what she does. She says she has learned to pick herself up after failure and keep trying. At one point of frustration she cries "If I were a better violinist, I wouldn't have to plan all these stupid tricks… to cover up that I'm just mediocre." Lindsey is generous to her fans. Many friends support her.
 

Violence

Lindsey's best friend Gavi is diagnosed with cancer and dies soon after. Her father is diagnosed with stage four cancer and dies after her tour.
 

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Lindsey Stirling is a working artist selling her music and tickets to her shows.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lindsey Stirling: Brave Enough is a documentary about the dancing rock violinist of the title and her struggles to launch her now successful career. As she turns 30, she recounts the difficulty of overcoming fear of failure, recouping after disappointments, but especially her grief after the death of her best friend and bandmate. She also faces the reality of her father's terminal illness, and numerous scenes show her crying as she copes with stress and grief. Lindsey reveals her nearly-paralyzing fear of not being good enough, her negative self image, and overcoming anorexia rooted in self-hatred.
 

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What's the story?

LINDSEY STIRLING: BRAVE ENOUGH follows the pop violinist and dancer on a tour directly following the death of Lindsey's best friend and collaborator Jason Gaviati. She tearfully shares her pain on camera and explains how she has overcome her fears and many moments of failure, including a dismissive assessment by Sharon Osbourne in the quarterfinal round of America's Got Talent. Those setbacks, she explains, have made her stronger and wiser and she wants to pass on her experience and knowledge to other strivers so they can succeed too. Many numbers from her show are shown as well.

Is it any good?

This documentary does a good job of showcasing the talents and charm of the buoyant and earnest electronic dance music violinist/dancer as she tours with her show and copes with loss and grief. Co-directed by reality TV producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, who also produced Katy Perry: Part of Me and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, the movie demonstrates their experience in working with young artists on tour. Lindsey Stirling: Brave Enough follows the formula of the other movies, including home movies of the artists as children. Backstage preparations and rehearsals are mixed with Lindsey's confessional interviews in which she reveals her nearly paralyzing fear of not being good enough, her negative self image, and overcoming anorexia rooted in self-hatred. Fans will no doubt relish this candid look at the musician and enjoy hearing her heartfelt thoughts.

Although she seems to be a gifted and jubilant performer, for less dedicated appreciators it's possible that some of the songs and dance routines may feel a bit repetitive. Stirling is probably as good as any dancer who ever simultaneously played violin but there are only so many things a dancer's body can do when her arms are tied up bowing a fiddle.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the difficulty of losing someone close. Do you think that Stirling withstands the stress of a long tour partly in order to diminish the pain of losing her best friend and her worries about her sick father?

  • Lindsey Stirling talks about overcoming her fears that she wasn't good enough. What are you afraid of? How do you cope with your fear?

  • Do you think that each of us is afraid of something? Do you think that many people secretly work to conquer fear?

Movie details

Character Strengths

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For kids who love dance and music

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