Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sick: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist (1997)

Kirby Dick


Performance artist Bob Flanagan suffered from cystic fibrosis throughout his 42 years. This disturbing, poignant, and disarmingly funny documentary examines his odyssey to have control over his body through inflicting pain on himself. So much has been said and written about the more sensationalistic and shocking aspects of this movie but very little has been said about what it's REALLY about - the will to survive, and a suprising, moving love story. 'Sick' is one of the most honest movies ever made. Bob Flanagan let's us into his life in a way very few people have. He's a sadomasochist and does things most of us would never conceive of doing, sure, but by the end of this movie all you can think of is that he was a hell of a nice guy who will be surely missed by his family and friends. The hammer scene is unforgettable but much more confrontational are the scenes of Bob's death. These alone make this movie unique and truly impossible to forget. I strongly recommend this powerful movie to everyone with an open mind and heart.


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