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Holes In My Shoes demonstrates the power and promise of the American Dream through the artfully-told, inspirational story of the ultimate New Yorker, Jack Beers. The stuff that urban legend is made of, Beers represents everything good about New York – and America itself. His story reminds us that time and time again, American society has been resurrected from periods of hardship through the sheer will of individuals who uplifted the nation through their common fight for survival – and prosperity.
Born to immigrant parents in a cold water tenement on the Lower East Side, Beers ascended from crushing poverty to the upper crust of society through determination, innovation and hard work. As a kid, Beers was known as “New York City’s Strongest Boy,” and flaunted his Herculean gifts in strong man acts in Coney Island and around the city in the 1920’s. After suffering an injury to his hand that prohibited him from performing, Beers became a cracker-jack steel worker and engineer and helped to build Radio City Music Hall, erected the Empire State Building spire and personally shortened World War II through his work on the Manhattan Project. Reinventing himself once again at middle age, Beers became a successful character actor and has appeared in over 200 feature films, including Tootsie and Plaza Suite. Throughout his long life, he beat terminal illness and shepherded his family through famine and feast, and at 94-years-old still rode his stationery bike three miles per day, cut down trees and mowed his five-acre-lawn on a tractor. Just before his passing early this year, Jack was acknowledged by Mayor Bloomberg for his indelible lifetime achievements and contributions to New York. This lovingly crafted documentary by David Wachs spans Beers’ life with incredible original and archival footage, photographs and penetrating interviews that chronicle the potential of the American dream and share one man’s abundant humanity with the world.
A truly motivational and richly entertaining story, the award-winning Holes In My Shoes is a timely film about how people can pick themselves up by their bootstraps and soar to success – even in the most desperate economic times.