Dr. Jack Kevorkian (1928 - 2011 ) in the 1990s, when he defies Michigan law assisting the suicide of terminally-ill persons. Support comes from his sister, a lab tech, the Hemlock Society president, and a lawyer. The child of survivors of the Armenian genocide interviews applicants: his sister video tapes them. He assembles a device allowing a person to initiate a three-chemical intravenous drip. The local D.A., the governor, and the Legislature respond. In court scenes, Kevorkian is sometimes antic. He's single-minded about giving dying individuals the right to determine how their lives will end. He wants the Supreme Court to rule. He picks a fight he can't win: is it hubris or heroism? Written by
Kervorkian was tried in 1993 in Detroit Recorders Court, which was at the time housed in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, a brutalist modern building constructed in 1968. When he exits the courthouse in the movie, Kervorkian walks out of the 19th century Roman Baroque old Wayne County building. See more »
You invited yourself here to make a final stand.
You invited yourself to the wrong forum.
Our nation tolerates differences of opinions, because we have a civilized and non-violent way of resolving our conflicts.
We have the means and methods to protest laws with which we disagree.
You can criticize the law, lecture about the law, speak to the media or petition voters.
But you must always stay within the limits provided by the law. You may not break the law, or take the law into your own hands.
[...] See more »
What a different role for Pacino! But, he was just as great and totally brilliant and believable in this quiet but driven, eccentric role as he usually is in his other roles where he furiously eats the scenery throughout.
I wasn't sure if his "Midwestern" accent was a Fargo caricature or if he was merely channeling Chief Dan George in Little Big Man, but it sure was interesting to hear an NYC Italian able to be so believable in his upper midwest accent that was located about 10 miles east of Minneapolis, or close thereabouts. Meryl Streep, move over.
The philosophy of this controversial subject is much more serious. America is so far behind the rest of the world in assisted suicide, as many countries now allow a person to die an assisted death for any reason, with no incurable illness or the like required. All it requires is a waiting period to be positive of the hard decision made. And here we are in the good old retarded USofA, still not allowing the dignified assisted death of terribly suffering and/or terminal souls who merely and quietly want nothing more disruptive than a personal, peaceful, and painless end to their agonizing day-to-day existence. (I totally agree with the rest of the world that it is as much or more an individual decision as is having an abortion and no political or religious entity should have any say in what a person makes up his mind to do in this matter. These intruding entities should not play any part at all in influencing and determining the right and wrong of it, as there is none to a rational thinker.)
All supporting roles were well done, with John Goodman bringing much needed comic relief at times to this achingly serious story. Brenda Vaccaro as the doc's conflicted sister and fellow death-with-dignity proponent Susan Sarandon were truly positive additions to the cast. Direction by the brilliant Barry Levinson was nonpariel and as good as his earlier Rain Man.
I truly hope this film moves the assisted death argument forward in America as it couldn't go any further backward, and more is the pity for that unevolved thinking.
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