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39 Pounds of Love (2005)

Unrated  |   |  Documentary, Biography, Romance  |  8 April 2005 (Israel)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 233 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 15 user | 17 critic | 21 from

This is the story of Ami, a man who while unable to move any part of his body, still manages to move each and every one of us, as he teaches us a part of life's intimate dance.


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Title: 39 Pounds of Love (2005)

39 Pounds of Love (2005) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Credited cast:
Ami Ankilewitz ...


39 POUNDS OF LOVE is the heartwarming story of Ami Ankilewitz, an American-born Israeli who at the age of 1 was diagnosed with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy that renders him immobile, except for one finger, which he uses to work as a 3D animator. His doctor predicated he'd die before the age of six. Over thirty years have passed and Ami, weighing only 39 pounds, still survives and "loves life", he is considered one of the world's greatest medical miracles. The film follows a riveting cross-country journey that Ami took with friends across the USA to look for the doctor who thought he wouldn't survive. Written by Kim Fishman

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


At birth he was given 6 years to live... at 34, he takes the journey of a lifetime.


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Official Sites:



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Release Date:

8 April 2005 (Israel)  »

Also Known As:

18 kila agapi  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,217 (USA) (25 November 2005)


$28,125 (USA) (20 January 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Dani Menkin first saw Ami in a Tel Aviv bar, and was instantly drawn to him. Arranging to meet Ami at his home some days later, Dani began a friendship with Ami that would eventually lead to making the film. See more »

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User Reviews

Why does he have to see the doctor?
17 November 2005 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

What's written on the poster is: "At birth he was given 6 years to live... At 34 he takes the journey of a lifetime." Ami is an American-born Israeli who was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy disease at the age of one. At age of 34, after the love toward his 22 years old care-giver didn't go well, he decided to come to the US to face the doctor who said that he would have only 6 years to live. He wanted to show the doctor that he is still alive, and weights 39 pounds. Why? Your guess is as good as mine, even I have seen this film.

Obviously it's courageous to live when all he can move is his left index finger, but why does he have so much anger toward the doctor who diagnosed his disease 34 years ago? His doctor just told his mom that based on the medical history, people with his disease won't live long. What's the point of him showing up at old doctor's door for? Why is tracking down this old doctor in the US is a journey of his lifetime? There are so many things we might be interested in Ami's life: how can he make those animations with the movement of only one finger? How can he go through daily lives while totally depending on others? How did he out lived his doctor's prediction? How does he deal emotionally when other people look at him like looking at a strange creature? The movie told us none of that. Instead, the filmmaker got a van and set up a trip to let Ami to show up at his old doctor's door in order to show him that he is still alive. I thought it was a joke.

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Recent Posts
Film opens in NYC; in LA shotwellsb
this film at DocuWeek in LA (Aug. 19-24, 2005) shotwellsb
in the top 15 for the oscar ! kerenya3
song in trailer MusicRehab
Lots of negative feedback for a great movie! ahaydenmill
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