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Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist (1997)

Cast: Rita Valencia, Rita Valencia, Kirby Dick, more...
Director: Kirby Dick, Kirby Dick
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Lions Gate
Genre: Documentary, Biographies
Running Time: 89 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

This documentary profiles poet/performance artist Bob Flanagan, who was born with cystic fibrosis. Flanagan explains, with engaging humor, how his obsession with controlled, self-inflicted pain has helped him to deal with his uncontrollable suffering. His philosophy forces one to look at sado-masochism with fresh eyes. The film includes explicit scenes of genital self-mutilation. ~ Bhob Stewart, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Production Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Sarah's Sick Too
  • Interview with Director
  • Performance Video
  • Feature Score
  • DVD-ROM Game

GreenCine Member Reviews

Love, Death and Mucus by tboot June 22, 2002 - 8:03 PM PDT
22 out of 22 members found this review helpful
"Because my parents always told me to be what I wanted to be, and this is what I want to be." You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll grimace. The guy nails his penis to a 2x4, and he's pale and scarred and has a cough that sounds like an effect from an Italian horror movie. But, if you skip Sick thinking it'll be an ordeal, an unpleasant look at a life of torture and illness, a movie to see on a dare with your legs tightly crossed, then you'd be missing the funniest, sweetest movie of the year. Sick's subject, Bob Flanagan, is clearly enjoying the hell out of being the star of his own movie, telling his jokes and singing his songs and taking his licks from his partner Sheree Rose and (at least for a while) defying Death. It's a rollicking performance, hilarious, tender and fierce, a messy life (and death) in all its glory. Kirby Dick's documentary is a tremendously moving portrait of a guy spitting his copious phlegm in the face of Fate and taking control of his body and his life, which avoids and even mocks the "heroic survivor" clichés that can sink movies about the disabled. (It's also a terrific love story, about two people so made for each other you wonder whether either one of them could have survived so long without the other.) Destined to find itself on future double-bills with Terry Zwigoff's Crumb as a bio of a geeky outsider who made good as an artist, Sick turns the intimacy and inspirational intent of most suffering-with-dignity documentaries inside out with a humor so dark you'll flinch, yet it still manages to be both intimate and, yes, inspirational.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.82)
78 Votes
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A List of Good Movies
Millions of Images of Meat
funny death, icky sex, and like vegetables, they are nasty, but oh so good for you.

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