I Am Heath Ledger is a feature length documentary celebrating the life of Heath Ledger: actor, artist and icon. The documentary provides an intimate look at Heath Ledger through the lens of his own camera as he films and often performs in his own personal journey.
Adrian Buitenhuis and Derik Murray filming now "I am Paul Walker" after "I am Heath Ledger". Interesting to see the connection between his docs and the short film "Updating Death" by Carsten Aschmann. Heath Ledger and Paul Walker acting in this one. The third one in this circle is Philip Seymour Hoffman. Maybe Adrian Buitenhuis and Derik Murray come up next years with "I am Philip Seymour Hoffman. See more »
[referring to Heath Ledger]
he wanted fame but when got it, he didn't want it anymore
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An Informative, Emotional Look At The Life Of Heath
I was basically introduced to Heath Ledger via his Joker performance in "The Dark Knight", a movie that completely blew me away in large part because of that incredible acting. I was shocked and saddened just like everyone else when Heath unexpectedly passed away shortly afterwards, and was not on hand to receive his Best Supporting Actor Oscar, provide further quality work, or be a father to his child. I really didn't know much of Heath's background before his "Dark Knight" years, so "I Am Heath Ledger" was a very informative (and of course emotional) documentary for me.
Basically, this documentary chronologically covers the years of Heath's short life, both in terms of his acting roles and family life. His love of adventure and creativeness are heavily referenced, as they made up such a large portion of his life and made him such an engaging figure. Heath's mother, father, and sisters talk about Heath from a family perspective, while noted creative luminaries & friends (Naomi Watts, Ben Mendelsohn, Dijmon Hounsou, Emile Hirsch, Ange Lee, Catherine Hardwick, & Ben Harper, to name a few) give their unique perspectives as well.
Despite the fact that Heath's life ended in tragedy, "I Am Heath Ledger" does not revel in it or take a somber tone (until perhaps the final few minutes). Mostly, this is a positive view of Heath's life, not unlike a wake of sorts where fond memories of the departed are shared in order to heal and try to move forward. I appreciated his approach, as it allowed me as a viewer to get a much clearer picture of who Heath Ledger was pre-Batman.
The only reason I won't give this doc the full 10-star treatment is because, in all honesty, I wish it would have discussed the circumstances of Heath's death more directly. All we get here is a brief "he had his demons" line of dialogue. I realize that directors Adrian Buitenhuis & Derik Murray wanted to keep the tone positive (and it is clear they are always striving to do that), but I wonder if more could be learned from Heath's unfortunate demise by examining it frankly. Sure, no one wants the "Ledger was a druggie" myth to perpetuate (untrue as it may or may not be), but from my knowledge Heath died because of prescription medication abuse. Sad as it was, I would rather examine the issue for what it is instead of clouding it in mystery. Perhaps a lesson can be learned for future adventurers like Heath in order to better control their specific set of problems.
Overall, though, "I Am Heath Ledger" is an excellent documentary that gives a very well-rounded picture of Heath's acting, relationships, and life in general. Fans of him specifically or just actor stories in general will be satisfied (as well as emotionally touched) by the final product here.
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