Michael Barnett’s “Superheroes”

“If we all do something we can make this place better, you know, there’s a hero in everybody. We just need to start letting it out.”  – Dark Guardian

Filmmaker Michael Barnett’s documentary “Superheroes” (2011, HBO) is about people who have taken a position as a real-life superhero. The documentary presented the unfair facts that happen so many times in life. Somebody needs help, could be an attack in public area or a homeless person’s request for help, but nobody does anything.

The people, the real-life superheroes, in this documentary said “No” to this phenomenon of apathy. To me the most memorable superheroes presented in this documentary were “Life” and “Z”, but I don’t want to lift up anyone on the special lime-light. They are all unique in their own way in the thing they do.

One of the most underlined opinion of the documentary was the superheroes thoughts about the corruption in the police and government. It acted as a main motive for many of the superheroes in their decision to fight against crime. For some the reason was also their experiences of violence, either in their own life and/or in their loved ones.

Still there is a point to think if meditating about becoming a real-life superhero. It’s not the safest job; carrying a weapon might turn against you either legally speaking or if it’s used against you. And facing people who might be very pathological criminals could turn ugly without proper training and understanding of the civil rights.

Of course these superheroes’ courage against violence, and their will to step up when they see illegalities at the streets is something to admire. What influenced me the most was their way to help out homeless people by giving supplies and company to talk to; just so that they would know that they aren’t alone. As the superhero “Mr.Xtreme” sums towards the end; the feeling of freedom to go out and help people can be awesome. In my opinion it can even be better than a life as a distant action figure who’s standing on the skyscraper. This documentary is definitely something to watch before making an opinion about the movement of real-life superheros.


Superheroes (trailer)


Director: Michael Barnett

Executive Producers: Doug Blush, Patrick Creadon and Christine O’Malley

Producer: Theodore James; Editors: Doug Blush, Derek Boonstra and Jeff Chen

Director of Photography: Michael Barnett

Animation: Syd Garon; Music by Ceiri Torjussen.



I watched the documentary on Netflix (Canada)


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