Christopher Reeve inspires the next generation
Reading Time: 2 minutes The UVU Review attended the premiere of “Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story” and interviewed Christopher Reeve’s children who see this documentary as a way to share their father’s legacy with the next generation.
Christopher Reeve is known for his iconic role as Superman in the beloved superhero franchise which launched in 1978. In 1995 he became paralyzed from the shoulders down. “Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story,” which premiered at the Rose Wagner Center as part of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, sought to portray how the superhero on the screen became a superhero in real life despite, and partly because of, his condition as a paraplegic.
Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui co-directed the documentary together. They are known for their work on the critically acclaimed documentary “Rising Phoenix” which similarly dealt with the physically disabled in the Paralympic Games.
When asked why Reeve’s story inspired them to make this documentary Bonhôte said, “He triumphed over adversity…he moved the conversation regarding disability.” Ettedgui added, “He went from being a superhero on the screen to someone who was genuinely heroic in the way that he lived his life.”
After Reeve’s accident, everything changed for him. A man who was used to an active life could no longer move. Despite this tragedy, Reeve used this opportunity to reevaluate his life, becoming closer to his family, whom he neglected in the wake of his successful career.
“At its core, this is a film about family, and about a family that initially is not together…and then comes closer and closer after his accident,” Ettedgui explained.
This documentary is also about his incredible legacy as an advocate for the needs of the disabled, and as a director and actor who was passionate about his work even after his accident. His three children, Matthew, Alexandra, and William attended the premier of the documentary and spoke on how they hope this film resonates with the future generation of actors and filmmakers.
Alexandra spoke on how one of her father’s proudest achievements was that he was able to direct his first movie after his accident, “In the Gloaming.” “One of his proudest accomplishments was that he was able to direct for the first time in his life and that was a passion he pursued for a long time,” she said.
William explained, “He loved film, and he loved working, and he worked very hard and deliberately. He earned every single thing that he ever got. I hope that young generations who are exposed to his story perhaps for the first time now will take something out of that and realize that you only reach great heights if you climb the mountain yourself, and our dad certainly climbed the mountain every day.”
“It was all about the role, and I think that commitment to the craft is hopefully something that people will see and take away with them as something to aspire to,” Matthew added.
Christopher Reeve’s story is an inspiration to so many people. It is about overcoming hardship and achieving great things with love for family at the core. Without a doubt, his legacy will go on to influence many more people.