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USA, 2012, 85 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Biographical, Documentary, Medical/Health
Program: DocumentaryLanguage: English
DIRECTOR: Jason DaSilva
Producer: Alice Cook, Jason DaSilvaEditor: Alice Cook, Jason DaSilva, Keiko DeguchiScreenwriter: Alice Cook, Jason DaSilvaCinematographer: Jason DaSilva
Vital, attractive 25-year-old Jason DaSilva is on vacation at the beach when he falls down and can’t get up again—a moment he had been waiting for since he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis months before. Until then, his diagnosis hadn’t seemed real; now he would be forced to face the harsh realities of the degenerative disease: loss of vision and muscle control, among other challenges. When I Walk, which premiered at Sundance, documents DaSilva’s journey of self-discovery and facing MS with an unbreakable spirit.
In denial, DaSilva tries rigorous exercise, hoping it will slow the process of the disease, but to no avail. He turns to his mother for support, who reminds him that he has been fortunate to be able to live in North America and to pursue what he loves: filmmaking. Her straightforward perspective reminds DaSilva of life’s brevity and that we must each make the most of what we have. He chooses to create opportunity, turning the camera on himself and documenting the painful decline of his body. DaSilva gets a scooter to navigate the streets of Brooklyn, he struggles dressing himself, and begins to lose his vision. He goes to India, hoping yoga and meditation will provide some relief; he goes to Lourdes, praying for a miracle. A miracle does arrive, but not in the way expected. He meets Alice Cook, and the pair fall in love and marry. DaSilva’s journey of self-discovery as he learns to live with his disease doesn’t sugarcoat the harsh reality, but his film is ultimately an uplifting one: an energizing and inspiring story of healing and love.
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