Another exceptional portrait of life by the famed playwright.
A bit of background for those not familiar with her work. Anna Deavere Smith is an American playwright and actress that specializes in interviewing subjects and performing the interviews as one woman shows. She has elevated the art form and her subsequent interviews and plays have been turned into groundbreaking documentaries (i.e. LA 92 was based on her play Twilight: Los Angeles 1992).
Comprised of 21 vignettes, it’s a look at the resiliency of the human body and spirit as subjects discuss their state of mind as they face(d) end of life moments.
“I like to say it’s about the power of the body, the cost of care and the resilience of the spirit”
Comprised of 21 vignettes, its a look at the resiliency of the human body and spirit as subjects discuss their state of mind as they face(d) end of life moments
I really enjoyed how different people reacted to the situations they were put in when they were on death’s door. Some approached it with anger, laughter, humility, and in one (what I felt was a really awkward) interview, with an immense ego (looking at you Lance Armstrong). I also really appreciated how these stories shed a light on how the healthcare industry in America has a long way to go. Like the story of Ruth Katz who was being treated by an oncology fellow at the Yale Medical School where she is one of the school’s deans and was told that her medical records were misplaced and didn’t seem to really care. But upon learning whom he was treating, her medical records showed up within 30 minutes. Without spoiling it, other great subjects include a bull rider, a boxer, and former Texas governor Ann Richards.
My Rating (stars out of 5):