Director Jeremy Workman previously gave SXSW the incredible documentary “The World Before Your Feet,” about a guy who ventures to walk down every street in New York City, and inspires others to follow suit. This follow-up is of even smaller stakes but can be just as inspiring, especially as Hevesh shows her skills in many different sequences—in Paris, on set at “The Tonight Show,” and at LEGO headquarters. Workman is along for the ride, and even cleverly lets exposition from Lily’s life come from watching others interview her, like when we get more insight to Hevesh’s background as an adopted child by hearing someone with a similar story ask her about it.
The documentary is so pleasing, and her journey so endearing, that we don’t really mind that the third act is more or less about her trying to expand her brand by getting a company to make a domino with her name on it. For one, her brand Hevesh5 seems as pure as a domino itself, and this documentary frames these business interactions as something that’ll help make the world a better place, with Hevesh proving to be an incredible manager. She could easily take her managerial skills and vision to leading a film set.
On a wider scale, Workman has made the rare non-cynical modern documentary about influencer culture, placing Lily in a world where teens watch YouTube more than they do TV, and look up to people like Hevesh as their type of celebrity. Lily is one of countless people who are connecting with others and creating audiences throughout YouTube; some of the documentary’s sweetest moments involve her meeting a star-struck fan who is excited to make a mini domino display alongside his hero.
It almost feels like a staunch artistic decision that Workman doesn’t include a whole lot of footage of Lily’s dominos falling apart mid-build. The same goes for images of her picking up all of the pieces, experiences that I can imagine she’s experienced countless times on her way to domino domination. Those bits seem to be missing to in order to preserve the overall ease of the story, and to affirm that it’s never about if Lily will succeed with her latest project, but when.
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