Oliver Sacks: In His Own Life at Real Art Ways

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Oliver Sacks: In His Own Life

On January 15th, 2015, a few weeks after completing his memoir, the writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks learned that the rare form of cancer for which he had been treated seven years earlier had returned and that he had only a few months to live. One month later, he sat down with the producers for a series of marathon filmed interviews in his apartment in New York. For eighty hours, across five days in February – and on three more occasions in April and June in places in the Bronx – surrounded by family and friends, books and minerals, notebooks from six decades of thinking and writing about the brain, he talked about his life and work, his dreams and fears, his abiding sense of wonder at the natural world, and the place of human beings within it. He spoke with astonishing candor, and with unflinching honesty – a profoundly gifted 81-year-old man facing death with remarkable courage and vitality who was still vigorous while facing the end. He was determined to come to grips with what his life has meant and what it means to be, as he put it, “a sentient being on this beautiful planet.”

This film will be followed up with discussion led by Paola Sacchetti, Director M.S. Neuroscience University of Hartford

"What I love about the film is that it captures him at that moment,” Hayes said. “He just got this terminal prognosis but he’s still full of so much vigor and curiosity."

Shayla Love - VICE