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National Geographic’s Presents: IMPACT with Gal Gadot

By Valerie Milano


Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 4/28/21 – THT was recently invited to the West Coast virtual premiere of National Geographic’s IMPACT, a documentary series highlighting the travails and heroic triumphs of 6 extraordinary women who have not only conquered discrimination, poverty, and grief in their own lives but have also turned their strength outward to inspire and help others confront and conquer similar obstacles.

Tying the threads together is host Gal Gadot, Israel’s hottest export, whose impeccable credentials include a two-year hitch in the Israeli army and her current reign as Wonder Woman in film.
Three stories were premiered, followed by a roundtable with the women profiled:
Ice Breaker
First up was the story of Kameryn, a 20-year-old figure skating coach in Detroit, a depressed city that is hardly a mecca for aspiring figure skaters. Kameryn’s students wrestle with the notion that they are in a place they don’t belong. Detroit is a city hollowed out by white flight and abandoned homes numbering in the tens of thousands. Kameryn never gives up on her diminutive charges and provides them with a nurturing nexus of ice where athletics, art, and dance meet.
Lost Surf Sisters
Gal Gadot
(Photo by: Jason Bell)

Kelsey and her sister loved to surf. They were not only sisters but best friends forever. Audrey’s other passion was healing, and her passion was rewarded when she became a transplant nurse. Then Covid came. Audrey would be stricken in January 2020 before the virus seeped into our consciousness and before proper diagnostics were available. We see heartbreaking video footage of Audrey on oxygen attempting to comfort and reassure Kelsey. Audrey would be among the first casualties of the virus. Kelsey eventually carries on with life and starts up a women’s therapy group combining surf and grief. As the women learn to navigate the ocean waves, they also learn to ride out the waves of grief that they all experience.

On Point
Tuany is a stunning Brazilian woman whose passion is ballet. Her story opens as she is practicing her moves in an open-air basketball court to a backing track of relentless gunfire. She lives in Morro do Adeus, one of Brazil’s most lawless and dangerous neighborhoods. She stubbornly continues to dance and soon young girls in the neighborhood start asking her to coach them. Her original group of seven students soon expands to over a hundred. The daily intrusion of death and violence inspires Tuany and her girls to build their own concrete bunker to practice in safety. Soon Tuany’s dance studio turns into a community center and she becomes a revered community leader.
Tuany Nascimento is a dancer who returns home after struggling to join a dance company outside Brazil. (Entertainment One)

National Geographic has its finger on the pulse. These bite-sized twelve-minute segments are briskly paced and provide just enough meat on the bone, along with a dash of Hallmark fairy dust. Young viewers will draw inspiration, yet are spared the more graphic background details of the stories profiled. IMPACT has a target audience that skews decidedly female. However, the lesson of good works birthed by poor circumstances is applicable to all genders.


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