There’s a punk-rock appeal to Strong!, the 2012 full-length documentary about Olympic weightlifter Cheryl Haworth: It’s about a large, powerful woman who doesn’t seem to give a shit about body types. But the film shines when it peers underneath Haworth’s skin. The competitor, while tough enough for the job, is still sensitive to the attention it attracts. While she endures the rigorous process of trying to qualify for the Olympics, it’s touching to witness her anxiety as she battles a surge of societal pressure. “Being big, it definitely has its advantages,” says Haworth, “but there’s no such thing, in this culture, as being big and strong and completely accepted as a woman.” Oddly edited weightlifting scenes tend to suck momentum out of the documentary’s narrative, but they don’t make Haworth’s story any less intriguing.
The film shows at 5 p.m. at Busboys & Poets, 2021 14th St. NW. Free. busboysandpoets.com. (202) 387-7638.