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Charged: A Story of How Positivity Can Tackle Even the Worst of Times

Photo credit: Mia Capuno

Photo credit: Mia Capuno

By Mia Capuno, Staff Writer

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“Start your dreams big, and only let them grow bigger,” said Eduardo Garcia at the world premiere screening of his autobiographical film on the opening night of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theater.

At any given chance, life can throw over-the-top difficulties at us. Often times, these hurdles manage to shut us down and leave us in a mourning state of despondency. But other times, with a strong and optimistic mindset, outer shell disabilities can be a stepping stone to your better self.

“Charged” is a 2017 documentary, directed by Phillip Baribeau, that follows the road to recovery of “bionic chef” Eduardo Garcia.

After a life-changing hiking accident that resulted in the loss of an arm, ribs, and nearly his life, 2011 would forever be the year that Garcia embarked on his journey to recovery for his injuries, and himself as a person.

The film taps into the very first stages of his body trauma after the incident, including vivid images of injuries on his arm, ribs, head, and thigh.

With an unbelievable amount of optimism, positivity, and a smile towards the camera, Garcia reflects on an inspiring emotional connection with the audience that makes you believe in second chances and teaches you how to take life by the reins and make the absolute most of it. As he said in the film, “Being alive with few handicaps is much better than being dead.”

The film documents the beautifully crafted friendship and love that he and his business partner, ex-girlfriend, and closest friend, Jennifer Jane, have built throughout this transformative journey. Showing that even after their worsts times, the friendship and trust they’ve built in each other can triumph anything.

On the day he is discharged from the hospital, he emotionally discusses how he actually felt terrified to leave the hospital but “pretty f**king glad” he didn’t die.

From the heart-tugging clips of him out of the hospital, to his return home, he continues to display the utmost positivity that many would have extreme difficulty with given the situation. As Jane said, “No one would guess that he was going through what he was going through.”

Evident throughout the entire documentary is his connection to nature on such a motivational and spiritual level. “The outdoors was my recovery,” he stated in the documentary. “I think hiking is maybe some of the best therapy I’ll ever do.”

Returning back to the scene of the accident for the first time, he feels an unbelievable rush of anger that he struggles to suppress. “One tiny event can rock you so hard,” Garcia said.

The most interesting thing about the film is its ability to give you a sense of hope for yourself and your future self, as well as the motivation to be better. As you watch the credits roll, prepare to walk out of the theater with thoughts of how much we take for granted the everyday opportunities that we are fortunate enough to have.  

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Dos Pueblos High School's Student Newspaper
Charged: A Story of How Positivity Can Tackle Even the Worst of Times