Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (2010) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310lb man whose gut was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn't end well- with one foot already in the grave, the other wasn't far behind. FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD is an inspiring film that chronicles Joe's personal mission to regain his health. With doctors and conventional medicines unable to help long-term, Joe turns to the only option left, the body's ability to heal itself. He trades in the junk food and hits the road with juicer and generator in tow, vowing only to drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice for the next 60 days. Across 3,000 miles Joe has one goal in mind: To get off his pills and achieve a balanced lifestyle. While talking to more than 500 Americans about food, health and longevity, it's at a truck stop in Arizona where Joe meets a truck driver who suffers from the same rare condition. Phil Staples is morbidly obese weighing in at 429 lbs; a cheeseburger away from a heart-attack. As Joe is recovering his health, Phil begins his own epic journey to get well. What emerges is nothing short of amazing - an inspiring tale of healing and human connection. Part road trip, part self-help manifesto, FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD defies the traditional documentary format to present an unconventional and uplifting story of two men from different worlds who each realize that the only person who can save them is themselves.

  • Forty-one year old Australian Joe Cross has had a rare autoimmune disease for nine years from an adult life filled with bad eating, which has also made him obese. To treat his disease, he is on prednisone, a strong prescription medication with negative side effects. He decided to make a radical change to his eating life, first by going on a sixty day fresh juice fast, documenting this journey on film, and doing it in the United States, a country renowned for its unhealthy population due to bad eating; and second by then changing to a predominantly micro-nutrient based diet, which is largely comprised of plant products. He spends the first thirty days in New York under the care of Dr. Joel Fuhrman, a nutrition specialist, and the remaining thirty days on the road traveling to the west coast. Along the way, he speaks to many people about what he's doing, some who live and eat healthily, some who are bad eaters but who have not yet developed health issues, and many who are both bad eaters and have health issues, most in that latter group who refuse to change their lifestyle, stating that they would rather die young and happy than change to healthier eating. This film also follows two people who Joe meets. One is Siong Norte who agrees to try a ten day juice fast to see if it helps with her primary health issue of migraine headaches. Two is the more severe case of Phil Staples, an Iowa based trucker who has the exact same autoimmune disease as Joe, but who is carrying approximately one hundred more pounds than Joe at the start of his process. Following his own sixty day journey, Joe dedicates his time to at least the start of Phil's journey.



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