The Film

"Intimate documentary examining a normal-but-remarkable man and wife's handling of his fatal disease ranks among the year's most moving films."
The Hollywood Reporter (more reactions here)


I AM BREATHING reminds us what it is to be alive – a tale of fun and laughs with a smattering of upset and devastation.

Within a year, Neil Platt goes from being a healthy 30-something British bloke with a great sense of humour to becoming completely paralysed from the neck down, thanks to the devastating illness he has inherited – known as ALS, MND, or Lou Gehrig's Disease. As his body gets weaker, his perspective on life changes. His humour remains, but new wisdom emerges:

"It's amazing how adaptable we are when we have to be.
It's what separates us and defines us as human beings."

Knowing he only has a few months left to live, and while he still has the ability to speak, Neil puts together a letter and memory box for his baby son Oscar and communicates his experience and thoughts about life in a blog – and in this film which he was determined to make. The directness of his communication mingles with images of the sensory details of a life well lived, and makes us revalue the ordinary.     

His blog posts form the film’s narration as he tells his own story through memories and impressions of his life – the sheer joy of falling in love, of partying with his mates, of fast motorbike rides. Through his determination to share his final journey, he makes us ask questions about our own lives.  

The film is 73 minutes long.

Do you like this page?

Showing 81 reactions

commented 2013-11-28 18:32:02 +0000
My partner Susan (50)has recently been diagnosed with MND (June 2013) and watching Neil’s film really moved me, how is it in this day and age we can’t find a cure to these horrible diseases its good bring this awareness to people who don’t know or are not aware, thank you Neil and his Lovely Family for sharing their story. Keep fighting lets get a cure for this horrible disease
commented 2013-11-25 01:03:46 +0000
I sadly lost my mother to MND 11 years ago, it is a terrible disease for the person with it but also having to watch your loved one suffer killed me inside, my thoughts and prayers to Neil and his family, so sad, brings back bad memories but has to be shown to raise awareness of the condition.
commented 2013-11-24 23:54:29 +0000
my stepbrother was diagnosed with MND when he was 16 years old (i was 14 at the time), he never moved, spoke or breathed again, they told him he had 6 months to live, he died 2 1/2 years later. It is about time the world see’s how traumatizing it is for the family’s involved. My heart goes out to neils wife and baby oscar.
commented 2013-11-17 02:02:56 +0000
ALS breaks my heart. I am helping a family take care of their husband/father/son. His wife and him were married 4 days before he was diagnosed. You’d think that I would be used to seeing things like this being in the medical field but this family is my family and it is horrible what they have to endure. I have no words for comfort for anyone, and that is a loss for me- I just know I have to try and make his day good, and not frustrating.. It’s so hard on everyone.. I wish and pray that this gets more research and more exposure. I am grateful for this film, thank you.
commented 2013-10-29 14:26:16 +0000
Amazing movie for every one affected and not.
commented 2013-10-24 09:33:30 +0100
The film will be shown on 25.1.14 at the memorial hall in Great Missenden. Doors open at 7pm and tickets are £5 per person, all proceeds will go to the South Bucks MND branch. Please contact the branch for more information.
commented 2013-10-22 21:31:49 +0100
Thanks to Neil and his family for a devastating, yet beautiful portrayal of this horrible illness. My mum was diagnoses with MND recently and I have done much research. However, nothing you read can prepare you for the real life depiction this documentary offers. I’d just like to point out to those that might have been affected personally, MND is not normally hereditary; Neil was one of the unlucky 5%. A deeply profound film which will stay with me, and will help raise awareness and funds to bring some hope to the sufferers of the future. I love you mum xx
followed this page 2013-10-14 22:13:46 +0100
commented 2013-10-08 17:01:49 +0100
My husband had ALS. Sadly my family and I lost him . He was a fit healthy man who is missed by all who loved him . It’s time more money is put into research from parliament.
commented 2013-10-07 15:28:50 +0100
Film screening organised by the Palliative care team at Colchester General Hospital last week was a great success, comments included “powerful” “moving” and “such an amazing family”.
Over £200 raised. Many thanks to all who attended.
commented 2013-10-01 06:43:46 +0100
I went to the screening in Wellington New Zealand this past weekend. I thought it was an amazing glimpse into a horrific illness but a beautiful insight into a man & his beautiful family
commented 2013-09-17 10:03:46 +0100
A FREE screening of I AM BREATHING with a Q&A session will be shown on:
SUNDAY 22nd SEPTEMBER @ 4pm in
Balham High Road,
SW17 7BQ
Hosted by Happy Soul Festival!!
Every one is welcome!!!
commented 2013-09-16 21:24:59 +0100
My son-in-law died of ALS, a disease that is horrible for the person who has it but that is also horrible and heart-rending for the families.
commented 2013-09-09 18:13:04 +0100
My Dad was 66 and he died on 17 Febuary 2008 from MND. Any disease that takes your life is cruel but MND is brutal, you have no chance of survival, no treatment to buy some time and you are fully aware what is happening to you as you are robbed of your life and suffer the pain of knowing you are leaving your loved ones. I’m so proud of my Dad’s courage, he lived 56 weeks after his diagnosis and it broke our hearts to know we losing him. It’s 2013 a cure has to be found for this disease before it claims more lives. My Dad lives on in our hearts but he should be here today with us.
commented 2013-07-29 06:46:34 +0100
I live in the United States (Paris, Kentucky) and my son was diagnosed in November 2011 with ALS at the age of 20. ALS is the most repulsive disease that exists and it continues to chisel away at his precious life. I am a single mother and Aaron is my only child. There is a such a deep aching in my heart, mind and soul that I never dreamed possible to experience. I pray that a cure is found soon for this wicked and sickening disease. God bless you and I pray for peace for us all.
commented 2013-06-24 12:59:08 +0100
I showed this film on Friday 21st to an audience of 12 raising £120 for the MND association. There was not a dry eye in the room but what a way to raise awareness….I am trying to reach a target of £1000 for the charity including a triathlon in 4 weeks. Please visit my page and read why I have chosen to do this and who my inspiration is and please donate to such a much needed cause
followed this page 2013-06-21 12:26:37 +0100
commented 2013-06-20 22:52:31 +0100
I to have mnd and would like to thank Neil from my heart for making this film and a big thankyou to his wife
commented 2013-06-20 15:06:26 +0100
I’m thankful and humbled to read about about Neil and MND in our local Malaysian online newspaper (Thu 20/6) today. In 2011 I found out about my own sudden deterioration of sight of the right eye. After 1 1/2 years no doctor could tell me what’s wrong. I hope I can help create some awareness of all these fatal diseases. Thank you. God bless!
commented 2013-06-16 19:53:29 +0100
Please try and watch to help me and other people with this illness try to get some more funding for research. It may not save me or others now but for the future!
commented 2013-06-15 23:38:08 +0100
My husband has MND/ALS, he was given till may 2013 to live, he has beat the odds, how long for we dont know, but we keep as normal life as possible, awareness of the disease is very limited the more people are told the more they will understand what the sufferer goes through and the family involved in their care. The Brain and Hearing are not effected.
commented 2013-06-08 18:44:47 +0100
I am going to screen this film at my house for as many friends and family as i can. I know its going to make me really sob. My dad passed from MND and now is the time to harness more support and raise funds to find a cure.
commented 2013-05-15 12:55:43 +0100
One day it would be great to hear what “little Oscar” thinks about it!!
commented 2013-05-15 12:49:10 +0100
I didn’t know about the Global Day/ Screening. Great thing!
commented 2013-05-11 07:31:00 +0100
May we hear more poetry?
commented 2013-04-24 23:26:11 +0100
A poem by my Dad (Steve Goodfellow, diagnosed Dec 2008, passed away April 2010 – RIP);

Is it a blessing or is it a curse,
to live like this, is there anything worse?
Unable to talk, unable to eat,
fully dependent, not standing on my own two feet.
Waking each day is a double edged sword,
the gift of life should not be ignored,
I am well looked after, my wife is a saint,
but it’s wrong that she suffers, her life is restrained,
I am a burden, of that there’s no doubt,
she would be better off if I checked out,
my family wouldn’t say that, and that’s for sure,
but I know I’m a drag, so show me the door.
I realise I seem negative and somewhat down,
and I do appreciate the love that I’m shown,
but how would you be if you were like me,
I used to be so different, flying free,
we planned to travel, a world to explore,
but I can’t do that any more.
That shouldn’t stop Julie, this wouldn’t be fair,
and my kids are in limbo, because they care.
Should I hang on, hoping for a cure?
It’s not up to me, of that I am sure.
For I cannot move, so I have no choice.
My life is not my own, I have no voice.
This is how I feel, for better or otherwise.
I must sit in this chair, and contemplate my demise.

Thank you to everyone involved in raising awareness of this terrible disease.

RIP Neil.

Ben Goodfellow
commented 2013-04-15 22:59:37 +0100
I am trying to get the film seen here in Wellington New Zealand , the struggle’s and the need for a cure of MND/ALS has to spread out to the world !!!
commented 2013-04-05 03:10:42 +0100
Saw this tonight at the Cleveland International Film Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. Excellent presentation of a difficult topic. Kudos to all involved.
followed this page 2013-03-14 02:25:30 +0000
followed this page 2013-03-03 18:59:08 +0000
← Previous  1  2  3  Next →
Film by Emma Davie & Morag McKinnon
Watch it online
Order the DVD
Pay it Forward
Make a donation