'I Am Elizabeth Smart'
(Alana Boden, George Newbern, Skeet Ulrich, Deirdre Lovejoy, et al / DVD / TV-14 / 2018 / Lionsgate Films)
Overview: Experience one of the most harrowing true stories of all time told by the one who survived it when 'I Am Elizabeth Smart' arrives on DVD July 10TH, 2018 from Lionsgate.
Based on one of the most famous abductions in history, authorized and narrated by Smart herself, the film tells the true story that only she can tell.
A smash hit when it premiered on Lifetime®, 'I Am Elizabeth Smart' will be available on DVD for the suggested retail price of $14.98.
DVD Verdict: This fascinating Lifetime® film chronicles the true story of the June 2002 abduction of 14-year-old Elizabeth Ann Smart (Alana Boden) from her home in Salt Lake City by religious fanatic Brian David Mitchell (Skeet Ulrich).
Over the course of her nine-month captivity, Elizabeth was starved, drugged, raped, and subjected to bizarre religious rituals by Mitchell and his twisted accomplice, Wanda Barzee (Deirdre Lovejoy), until she enabled her own rescue.
Interestingly, and justly, here in 'I Am Elizabeth Smart,' the real Elizabeth Smart herself serves as a producer and on-screen narrator in order to discuss how she survived and confront the truths and misconceptions about her captivity.
You see, for my money, at least, having Elizabeth do the narration, giving a first-person narrative of the story, was really, well, Smart. Why? Well, even though I'm into true crime - the shows and the books of course, not the crimes themselves - so many shows use so-called "experts" in their fields to explain what happened; even though those "experts" were sometimes not even involved.
Sure, the opinions of detectives and psychiatrists might have some merit, but there's nothing like enduring something yourself and then explaining it yourself afterwards. It not only gives it some street cred, but it also gives the audience a real reason to believe every word and every action.
After all, Elizabeth was there. Unfortunately. But, that said, I believed that the story was true because of it. If that makes sense.
Indeed, there was nothing distracting about this TV movie to me. It was sensitively and expertly produced working closely with the characters and landscapes involved. Brilliant screenwriting that distills complex scenes in poignant simplicity, the movie has something of value to say; especially if a child found themselves in a similar situation.
With an underlying subplot that was born from Elizabeth (a Mormon) and her kidnapper being, and putting it politely, a religious zealot of some unknown Christian cult, 'I Am Elizabeth Smart' (a title that reveals itself two-thirds of the way through the actual movie) is definitely an educational and informative (and come the end, uplifting) lifeline for any family/community that should ever have to endure such a thing in the future. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
Official 'I Am Elizabeth Smart' Trailer