EIFF 2013: I Am Breathing
With composure and compassion, I Am Breathing documents the final months of husband and father Neil Platt, diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease at the age of 33. Served a bleak prognosis, Platt began chronicling his struggles with the debilitating condition, dictating blog posts that would eventually reach a readership of 10,000. At the same time, he and wife Louise began shoring fragments of his life – photographs, home videos, mementos – to ensure their one-year-old son would grow up knowing not only how his father died, but how he lived; a project for which I Am Breathing can occupy a keystone position.
Granted extensive access to the family’s ordeal – an ordeal tackled with grace and humility – directors Davie and McKinnon handle the devastating subject matter with restraint and sensitivity, baring the disease’s full tragic trajectory without reducing Neil to his affliction alone. As might be expected, the results are deeply moving, with moments of absurd humour and profound beauty amidst the sadness. [Chris Buckle]