First Reaction to Press Release: ‘Hmm. This is a documentary about a pageant for disabled little girls. A pageant. Pageants highlight the most superficial aspect of our humanity, and ignore character. But this one’s for and about disabled little girls. It won’t be easy to stomach this, but I’ll check it out.’
And then I watched the movie—in tears the whole time.
The pageant was founded in 2004 by Abbey Curran who was diagnosed at the age of two with cerebral palsy. As a young girl, Curran submitted herself to beauty pageants year in and year out; winning the Miss Iowa pageant in 2008. She became with first woman with disabilities to compete in the Miss USA Pageant®.
Davis features Curran, interviews parents and volunteers, and follows eight of the 37 participants. He captures joy and heartbreak and hope and inspiration, telling many stories of love and courage. At the end of this film we are left stunned and moved, compelled to reflect on ourselves and our world. This is documentary filmmaking at its finest.