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Dick Johnson is Dead

Dick Johnson is coming toward the end of his life, and he is beginning to suffer dementia. His daughter (the director, Kirsten Johnson) decides to stage a number of different kinds of deaths and after-life experiences to help both of them to deal with the double loss they both know is coming – the actual end of life but also the “loss” that comes with dementia. It is a really unusual kind of documentary, but one that when it works, it works very well. It is at times very funny in the ways Kirsten stages his death and he goes along with all of it. It is also serious, as we get to see Dick’s cognitive abilities decline and how father and daughter learn to deal with his progressing dementia. Thumbs up for a film that finds humor and levity in a very serious subject. (2020; 4 Stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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