During the first few minutes of Dana Nachman's new documentary Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World, I was sure I wouldn't be able to sit through the whole movie. The "star" of the movie, a six-year old boy named Miles Scott who was diagnosed with leukemia at 18 months old, reminded me too much of my own son. The thought of having to see my boy go through years of sickness and treatment the way Miles did was more than I could handle, and I was ready to flee the theater not because the movie dwells upon or exploits Miles' illness but because I was overcome with empathy for his family.
I'm very glad I stayed.
And then we get to the footage of that day, when Miles arrives in San Francisco and plays out a very elaborate fantasy that involves rescuing a damsel in distress, thwarting a robbery from the Riddler, stopping for lunch, chasing down The Penguin and receiving a key to the city on the steps of City Hall. Seeing how seriously he takes it, watching his body language as he fully loses himself in the character of crime fighting Batkid, is one of the most charming things you'll ever see. I cried because I was happy. I cried because he reminded me of my own boy. I cried because this sweet, shy boy's dream was coming true because there are good people in this world and medical treatment that made it possible. At that point I was no longer concerned with the logistics (even though not everything goes according to plan). I was just having my faith in humanity restored by a little kid in a Batman costume.