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39 Pounds of Love (2005)

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.


Dani Menkin
3 wins. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Ami Ankilewitz Ami Ankilewitz ... Himself


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.


Unrated | See all certifications »





English | Hebrew | Spanish

Release Date:

8 April 2005 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

18 kila agapi See more »

Filming Locations:

Dallas, Texas, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,217, 27 November 2005

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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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

Moving documentary - def. worth seeing!
5 October 2005 | by j_rutgersSee all my reviews

I saw 39 Pounds of Love at the Edmonton film festival. I wasn't sure what to except, however, this film far exceeded my expectations. Ami Ankilewitz, whom the documentary is about, breaks down all the established notions of what living with a "disability" is like. He is smart, adventurous, girl-crazy and really funny! The journey he goes on in the film, to make peace with himself and with others, is such a universal story that I can't imagine someone not relating to him in some way.

I left the theater with the feeling that I had experienced something really special. Top notch film-making with a truly compelling story. The visuals and music were on par with docs like Mad Hot Ballroom and My Architect. And most importantly, I think Ami's story has the potential to move people in extraordinary ways.

I don't want to give much away, so I will just say if you have the opportunity to see the film (opening in NY 11/23 at Landmark Sunshine Theatre) - GO SEE IT. You will be glad you did...

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