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2nd Chance – Hot Docs 2022

2nd Chance

2nd Chance – Hot Docs 2022

Synopsis:
A documentary chronicling the life of Richard Davis, the man who invented the concealable bulletproof vest – shooting himself 196 times in the course of his career to prove the effectiveness of his vests.

The rise and fall of the man who invented the modern bulletproof vest are explored in . A former pizzeria owner, Richard Davis would invent what would become the modern bulletproof vest, with him shooting himself to prove its effectiveness. This would lead to him founding Second Chance, which would become the number one body armour company in the world. However, the downfall of the company begins when faulty zylon vests resulted in multiple police officer deaths.

2nd Chance is the debut documentary feature from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ramin Bahrani (The White Tiger). The main subjects of the film are “body armour king” Richard Davis and his right-hand man Aaron Westrick, the latter a former police officer, whose life was saved by a Second Chance vest. Richard Davis builds mythology for himself, which includes a story of him single-handedly foiling an armed robbery attempt. However, the man ends up being totally different than the myth.

2nd Chance is undoubtedly a story that can only come from America. The very fact that Richard Davis shot himself 196 times over the course of his career is more than enough to build a documentary. However, over the course of the documentary, Davis is exposed to be a somewhat shady figure and its former police officer Aaron Westrick develops the bulk of the audience's sympathy when it is all said and done. However, the type of character that Richard Davis is helps to make 2nd Chance a fascinating watch.

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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