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Gleason

Steve Gleason played football for the New Orleans Saints for 8 years and then retired. Not long after retiring, he was diagnosed with ALS. Right around the same time of the diagnosis, he and his wife Michel discover that she is pregnant. Steve wanted to work with a documentarian to film the progression of his disease, and he also wanted to create a video journal that would be a story for his son. The film is stunning. It provides a very “up close and personal” view into the toll the disease takes on his body and ways that it affects his family, particularly his wife – it takes us into the most personal aspects of his changing body and the care he requires. As he begins to lose control of his body, he creates the TeamGleason foundation to provide support, services, and advocacy to people with ALS. It is as well a film about fathers and sons and what being a good father means. Huge, huge thumbs up from me for a film that captures the pain, the rawness, and the beauty of Steve and his determination to keep fighting and living. Bring lots of tissues – it is not a sad movie at all but one that is just full of transcendentally beautiful moments. This one ought to be a contender for best documentary this year. (2016; 5 Stars)

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