SXSW 2021 Film Festival: Lily Topples the World Review

Lily Topples the World

Lily Topples the World is the story of domino artist Lily Hevesh. From the age of 9, Lily was demonstrating her creative gifts with beautiful and elaborate displays of kinetic art using colorful dominos as her primary medium. In this documentary by Jeremy Workman (The World Before Your Feet), audiences get a special behind-the-scenes look at Hevesh’s craft and her pursuit of bigger dreams of how to expand her influence.

What works in Lily Topples the World is the mesmerizing expression of domino art as well as the fascinating insight into Havesh’s growth as a person. Workman puts Lily’s passion front and center and finds a way to capture a multitude of dimensions behind her skill including patience, perseverance, and passion. Perhaps most illuminating is the reveal of Havesh’s visionary talent—the ability to not only engineer and execute elaborate domino toppling exhibitions, but also understanding exactly how to capture those events cinematically. But beyond the art, individuals will get to see Havesh the person—a young woman full of ambition learning how to pursue her own happiness and satisfaction.

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Individuals craving a deep narrative arc or overt message in their documentaries may not enjoy Lily Topples the World as much as others. Workman’s film is meant to be a blanket of warm joy and as such, he keeps the proceedings incredibly light as he focuses primarily on Havesh’s various creative expressions. So, while there is certainly an evolution to his subject matter, the documentary is more of a chronicle than a journey.

Lily Topples the World is a charming and warming story that should inspire creators of all shapes and colors. Highly recommended for all.

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