For Dear Life
For Dear Life
NO MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED. OPEN TO YOUTH UNDER 18.
When James Pollard is given a terminal cancer diagnosis, he sets about orchestrating his own death. Like any good theatre producer, he researches options into different modes of burial, and the best means and methodologies of preserving his body after death. This may sound slightly morbid, but the practicality, and often surprising amounts of humour, with which James contends with his situation allows for an openness and freedom in dealing with death.
Carmen Pollard (James’ cousin) has a firm grasp on the story, afforded by her close relationship with her cousin. As friends and family get involved, the film paints a portrait of James’ life in its totality. His relationships with kids, his second wife (whom he met and married after receiving his diagnosis), and his own parents are reframed with the looming reality of the coming end. Filmed over the course of three years, For Dear Life becomes a shared project, capturing moments, both big and small, on James’ journey. Made with elegance and precision that speaks to Carmen Pollard’s skill as an editor, as well as a director, this supremely emotional film walks the delicate line between grief and acceptance. Death is only part of the narrative, life in all its variegated shades of light and dark is the far bigger story. -DW