"Stunningly alive" – what the U.S. thinks about I AM BREATHING

Leading up to the week-long runs of I AM BREATHING in cinemas in New York City and Los Angeles, Emma Davie (the film's co-director) and Louise Oswald (who was Neil Platt's wife) were guests in the studio of the Huffington Post's channel, HuffPost Live. This is their 20-minute interview.

On RogerEbert.com, the site of the late and legendary movie critic, Scott Jordan Harris has written one of our all-time favourite reviews:

"'I Am Breathing' is an earnest and important film. It deserves to be seen by anyone who is interested in documentaries and anyone who is interested in the simple human stories movies too often overlook."

In a new review, IndieWire called I AM BREATHING "a genuinely inspirational documentary on one man’s last days". 

"What is most noteworthy about “I Am Breathing” is what it is not: horrendously depressing. Sure, it is incredibly sad, especially every scene with young Oscar. But “I Am Breathing” is not a documentary intended to induce sobbing. It is, instead, a film about dying that is stunningly alive, wildly optimistic, and always insightful and entertaining."

Under the headline "Strong Enough To Laugh", the New York Times also points out how "Mr. Platt's good-humored attitude helps keep the potent material from turning mawkish" and concludes that the film, "amid the cinema's hit parade of violent but curiously instantaneous deaths, reminds us what it means to bear witness to the very end."

In the Village Voice, Ernest Hardy writes

"Platt and his story are inherently moving, and co-directors Emma Davie and Morag McKinnon wisely employ a light, unobtrusive touch as their camera captures the erosion of Platt's health. Platt never gives in to self-pity, and is instead a funny, droll, philosophical subject."

Film Journal is republishing Neil Young's review for The Hollywood Reporter which ranks the I AM BREATHING "among the year's most moving films":

"The last couple of years in one tragically truncated life are chronicled with a winning combination of sensitivity and humor in I Am Breathing."

On About.com, Jennifer Merin reminded readers her earlier 5-star review which concludes:

"Neil Platt reveals a profound honesty and wisdom. In the short time span of the film, he becomes a friend, a member of the family. Anyone who has comforted a loved one as death nears will recognize and honor the sensitivity with which this film is made. The film is not only a moving tribute to Neil Platt, it is also his legacy, one that touches and teaches all of us. RIP Neil Platt, and thank you, your family, the filmmakers and the Scottish Documentary Institute for giving us I AM BREATHING."

Women's eNews writes about this "profoundly moving documentary": 

"This heartbreaking and inspirational film is a must-see."

NY-based Film critic James van Maanen writes on his blog Trust Movies:

"What separates us as human beings from other life forms? This question's been asked and answered many times, but according to Neil Platt -- the subject of what is certainly the most moving and maybe one of, even the best documentary of the year -- it's our adaptability. As shown here, Neil certainly proves adaptable. He's dying, you see, and must adapt to that.
How he does it makes for the meat of this 73-minute movie that had me -- and everyone around me -- at the press screening for us cynical critics moved to the point of long silence at the movie's close, followed by an audible inhale/exhale. We won't even go into the tears. How the filmmakers -- Emma Davie and Morag McKinnon -- achieve this is exactly right. They go for, and capture, such intimacy that we're right there, as close to Mr. Platt as possible, not only in terms of distance but of thought, feelings and spirit. And, my, does Neil have a lot of that last one!"

Quip Magazine wrote about the "poignant and delicately composed documentary":

"This is an elegant and thoughtfully executed film about a family adapting to life in the face of death and getting the most out of it."

LiveScience focuses mostly on how the film shows Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS) but also notes:

"Platt provides a heartbreaking, at times amusing, and startlingly honest view of what it means to be alive."

Washington Square News, the NYU's official student newspaper, printed an article concluding:

"In ways, the film is less a documentary in the proper sense than it is a poetic grave marker, or an urn on the mantelpiece — a beautiful reminder of what once was."

NYCmovieguru.com calls I AM BREATHING "the most heartbreaking doc of the week, if not the year thus far."

Basil Tsiokos of What (Not) To Doc refers to an earlier review he did at a documentary festival in which he said: 

"Always candid, and sometimes surprisingly funny, Davie and McKinnon’s film is touching, but never maudlin."

The film plays at IFC Center in New York from September 6th and Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles from September 13th.

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