The thing about a good documentary is it has to engage the viewers with a fascinating story that draws the audience in. Even though Lily Topples the World is pretty much a straightforward doc, it has what it needs to be interesting and fascinating and that’s its subject, Lily Hevesh. Her story is not that of an average success story. She turned lemons into lemonade in her life.
Lily was a Chinese orphan who was adopted by the Hevesh family at the age of one. She was a quiet child and not until she found domino toppling did she find out who she really was. It helped her develop a love of art and engineering she never knew she had until she started on this hobby which will eventually turn into her life’s work even though she is only twenty years old at the time of the filming of this documentary.
This is what America is all about: the story of making something of yourself from nothing. It’s as they say the rags-to-riches story. This is such an American Dream for anybody, let alone a little orphan girl from China. The filmmakers relied on the sympathy card with this film. Lily is a very sympathetic subject. That makes for a very enjoyable film all the way around. You can’t help but root for her in everything she does.
The key to an effective documentary is the filmmakers have to get down to what drives the film. Yes, Lily’s story is that of a huge success story, but not without the key plot point will this film and her story work. And it does because this key plot point drives the film forward so all the talking heads and falling dominoes mean something at the end of the film. That’s what makes a great documentary.
The world of YouTube celebrities can be a beneficial one. As a YouTuber myself, I understand how this whole can be fun if you’re in the right community. Lily is adored by those in her community and also fellow domino topplers. They put her on a pedestal because in their eyes she’s the greatest at designing and toppling dominoes in the world. It’s a niche thing but she has a massive following nonetheless.
Lily Topples the World is an interesting and fascinating film. It’s about a very niche topic. The subject of the doc is by far the most interesting thing. Her life is defined by the American Dream and that’s what is so great about this film. The filmmaker makes her very engaging and relatable. Her friends and fans worship her and that’s the top of the iceberg of who she is as a person and success story.
Dan Skip Allen
Founder/EIC disappointment media