Linda Movie Review: THE MIGHTY ATOM

The Mighty Atom

Review By: Linda Ruiz

The often used phrase- Do not judge a man by his stature but by the courage of his conviction, defines the life of Joseph L Greenstein.

Mr. Greenstein for all intents and purposes should not have lived to the ripe old age of 87. Born three months premature on July 15th 1893, he was very sickly and  suffered from many respiratory ailments. Having survived tuberculosis as a young teenager he stood only at 5 foot 3 tall and was very frail.

That slowly  changed when the circus came to his town, Suwalki, Poland; and the featured strong man, Champion Volanko took  the young Joseph under his wing. Mr. Volanko, recognized the determination and strong will of the 14 year old, and Joseph traveled with the circus for almost two years. In that time he learned about diet, eating healthy, meditating, fasting and the martial arts.

Shortly after his return, he married his wife Leah. Amid rising anti-Semitism and increased pogroms from the Russians, they moved to America. The family lived in Texas for a while before finally moving to Brownsville,Brooklyn.

It was in Brooklyn that Mr. Greenstein made a name for himself as a strong man and was featured twice in Ripley’s Believe It or Not and the Guinness Book of World Records. Impossible feats of great strength became the family business. His sons followed in his footsteps, as he broke metal chain with his teeth, or pulled an airplane with his hair.

His strength was not limited to his physical being, but also to his spiritual being. He was known to have many a fight as anti-Semitism was taking root in the United States. The Star of David was featured prominently over his heart when he wore his costume at performances. Mr. Greenstein was a man of great faith and integrity. It is believed that some of the traits attributed to the comic book hero, Superman, which was started by two Jewish men, were based on him.

As his popularity grew and his audience widened, Mr. Greenstein took the opportunity to start educating his audience. He gave lectures on health and sold organically based products, cleansing tonics and coconut oil based soaps. He was truly a man ahead of his time.

The documentary will be available on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play on Tuesday, November 14th

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