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.

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Showing 48 reactions

followed this page 2020-05-01 11:50:50 +0100
posted about this on Facebook 2018-05-06 12:00:18 +0100
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commented 2015-01-05 13:18:35 +0000
As Emilly’s post below seems to originate from Nigeria rather than Ireland, we’re deleting it…
commented 2014-06-10 22:20:51 +0100
I am so grateful to have had the chance to learn about Neil’s story. All that I needed was someone helping me understanding. Understanding the pain, the love, the fears, the falls.

This movie made me feel so close to my dad, it helped me seeing things with his eyes, his thoughts, the thoughts he never wanted to share, keeping the pain within. What I have learned from all that happened, this tsunami of tears, questions unsolved, failed escapes and lost battles and inconsolable falls, is that it is true, unless you have been through the same hell you can not understand.

But you can try, you can try to give all the love you have, even when you are tempted to put all your energies in a fight against it, give love. If I could turn back time to when my dad was still here I would not waste time with anger, I would carry on, giving love.

This movie is hope, is light, is poetry, is love.

If there’s no cure, there is hope. MND is a big monster, but each little hand, each voice, each prayer, each thought is part of the tight that will take all the pain away once all that will be left will be love.

Thank you for the incredible work, passion and soul that you have put in the movie.

I want to open my little window and let the summer breeze grow, whisper and then turn everything in a new sky free of all the dark clouds that changed forever my world.
commented 2014-06-03 06:04:42 +0100
I haven’t had time to screen the film yet, but will do so tomorrow. Will comment on the film afterward. I am undecided as to whether my husband, who has ALS, should watch it. We’ll see! In any case, thanks to all of you who are bringing the film about this horrible disease to the public so that anyone who sees it can have some understanding as to how it ravages the body of a patient without mercy!! Hopefully, this film will lead to demands for research for Motor Neuron Disease, and perhaps a cure. Thank you.
commented 2014-04-17 00:08:42 +0100
My grandad died of motor neurones in 1987. I have two memories of him one when he saved me after a reprimand for touching something I shouldn’t and the second when he lost his temper at me aged 7 because I couldn’t understand what he was saying to me. Thank you for reminding me he was a sane mind trapped inside an insane body. Xx
commented 2013-12-23 15:54:33 +0000
Loved the film even though it was so heartbreaking to watch. We lost my aunt to ALS at the age of 47. My thoughts are with Louise & Oscar xxx
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 2013-10-24 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 2013-06-15 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 2013-04-15 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.
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