After he is diagnosed with ALS, former professional football player Steve Gleason begins making a video diary for his unborn son, as he, his wife, and their friends and family work to raise money for ALS patients as his disease progresses.
While training at the gym 11-year-old tomboy Toni becomes entranced with a dance troupe. As she struggles to fit in she finds herself caught up in danger as the group begins to suffer from fainting spells and other violent fits.
Exposing her role behind the camera, Kirsten Johnson reaches into the vast trove of footage she has shot over decades around the world. What emerges is a visually bold memoir and a revelatory interrogation of the power of the camera.
It is the defining cultural tale of modern America - a saga of race, celebrity, media, violence, and the criminal justice system. And two decades after its unforgettable climax, it continues to fascinate, polarize, and develop new chapters.
At the age of 34, Steve Gleason was diagnosed with ALS. Doctors gave the former NFL defensive back and New Orleans hero two to five years to live. So that is what Steve chose to do - LIVE: with purpose, for his newborn son, for his wife, and to help others with his disease.
Yesterday, about five minutes after I got home I pooped all over myself and my wheelchair. I think it's crazy that I can go from people saying "You're my hero," to having to be helped onto a toilet with my pants full of shit. It's an incredible example of polarities, and dichotomies, and juxtapositions that is my life.
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An Incredibly Heartwrenching, Yet Inspiring Documentary
I watched this film knowing almost nothing about expect that it was a documentary and it had received great reception. I'm not a football fan and had no idea who Steve Gleason was. With that said, it didn't take away any of my enjoyment from this powerful documentary.
The film follows retired NFL player Steve Gleason who is diagnosed with ALS just months before the birth of his son. As he prepares a video dairy for his son, we watch as Steve deals with the disease as it progresses as well as his family as they embark with him on the long and difficult journey. Even without any knowledge of his football career, the film does a great job of quickly introducing to Steve and his family and giving us a background of their live. Although Steve is the star here, his wife Michele also equally shares the spotlight with him as we get to know her and watch her world change as he helps support her husband.
Although I highly recommend this film, be warned it's very difficult to watch. The film does not shy away from just how horrific of a disease ALS is and shows us Steve at several points where he is at his worst with the disease to the point he nearly gives up. What makes the film worth it though is watching somebody like Steve who once had it all have the courage and strength to want to continue living his life in his condition for the sake of his family.
By the end of the film, it's hard not walk away without thinking of Steve Gleason as one of the most inspiring people to ever live. It's the kind of film that when it's over makes you want to go outside and look around and makes you appreciate your own life and the ones around you. The only thing that really keeps the film from being perfect that it is a bit long at nearly 2 hours and a few scenes could've been trimmed down. If you enjoy documentaries and inspiring stories, this film is a must watch and one of the best documentaries I've seen in a long time!
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