Independent Lens: Supergirl

About This Episode

When Naomi Kutin, an Orthodox Jewish girl from New Jersey, broke a world powerlifting record at the age of ten – lifting 215 pounds when she herself weighed only 97 pounds – she quickly became a media sensation, earning the nickname “Supergirl.” This intimate portrait follows her unique coming-of-age story as she fights to hold on to her title while navigating the perils of adolescence — from strict religious obligations to cyberbullying to health issues that could jeopardize her future in powerlifting.

Supergirl follows Naomi -- from age 11, through her Bat Mitzvah at 12, and on up to age 14 -- and her family through training and powerlifting events as well as documenting their strong faith and involvement in the Orthodox community. While powerlifting may not seem like a typical choice for a young girl, the sport is a family affair. Naomi’s father is an accomplished powerlifter himself and younger brother Ari has also taken up the sport.

As the years pass and Naomi matures, she struggles to stay in her weight class and continue her winning streak. Can this young woman still be “Supergirl” if she can no longer break world records? With her close family supporting her, Naomi begins a journey toward self-acceptance, discovering the importance of both inner and outer strength.