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

Not Rated | | Documentary | 7 November 1997 (USA)
Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis from a young age, performance artist Bob Flanagan shared his life and pain in his art, usually through sadomasochistic practices.


Kirby Dick
3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Kathe Burkhart Kathe Burkhart ... Interviewer
Kirby Dick ... Interviewer
Bob Flanagan Bob Flanagan ... Self
Sheree Rose Sheree Rose ... Self
Rita Valencia Rita Valencia ... Interviewer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sarah Doucette Sarah Doucette ... Self
Richard Kopelle Richard Kopelle ... Self


Documentary about writer and performance artist Bob Flanagan who died at 43 of cystic fibrosis. His life was indicated by pain from the beginning and he started to develop sadomasochistic practices, which he developed finally into performances. Written by Soeren Ney <SoerenNey@AOL.COM>

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Shot over a period of two years and compiled from over 100 hours of footage. See more »


Bob Flanagan: I want a wealthy collector to finance an installation in which a video camera will be placed in the coffin with my body, connected to a screen on the wall, and whenever he wants to, the patron can see how I'm coming along.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was initially cut by 3 mins 42 secs for UK DVD in 2001 to remove two scenes (an asphyxiation scene and a scene featuring piercing of the penis). The cuts were waived for the 2009 release. See more »


References In the Realm of the Senses (1976) See more »

User Reviews

Unique look at life and death.
24 June 2001 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

So much has been said and written about the more sensationalistic and shocking aspects of this movie (yes, he hammers his penis to a board) 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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Release Date:

7 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sick See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$86,917, 23 November 1997

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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