Bob is a 65 year old Jewish New Yorker who went to Woodstock at 15, designed bathrooms for Elton John and Janet Jackson and is funny and full of life.
He also only has one week to live.
Diagnosed with Parkinson’s, Bob has decided to end his own life using Death with Dignity laws and DAYS OF FIRE is the inspiring, surprisingly funny and heartbreaking portrait of Bob's last week on earth.
With unflinching intimacy and incredibly unique access, our film follows Bob as he tries to make peace with his family, the love of his life and himself, right up until he takes his last breath.
Deeply compassionate, DAYS OF FIRE is a meditation on time and mortality, asking the big questions, “How do we face death when it comes?” and “What does it mean to live a complete life?”
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Amiel Courtin- Wilson with sound design by Academy Award Winner Robert Mackenzie, DAYS OF FIRE is a cinematic journey with an unforgettable human being.
Bob will stay with you forever.
BEHIND THE SCENES
BEHIND THE SCENES
BEHIND THE SCENES
BEHIND THE SCENES
BEHIND THE SCENES
A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing
1. In an increasingly secular society death is often over-medicalised or approached with fear, discomfort and denial, leading to increased suffering and isolation for people at the end of life and those who care for them.
2. Parliamentary inquiries into end of life choices have documented, through hundreds of personal testimonies, the suffering, trauma and harm being inflicted by our current laws at end-of-life. Recent polls have revealed that over 70% of Americans and Australians support a change in these laws to allow for medical aid-in-dying, yet in both countries only a minority of states have passed such legislation.
3. Parkinson's is the second most common neurological condition in the world and yet there is currently still no cure.
Guided by Bob’s generosity and insight during the last days of his life, DAYS OF FIRE encourages a transformation of the cultural norms surrounding end of life and inspires us to face our own mortality as a way of enriching our lives.
What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?
The genesis of this film was a desire to make a pure, emotionally arresting work that ignites a series of conversations in the community around death and how we live our lives. Included in this vision is the desire to see an increase in legislated medical aid-in-dying laws to empower people with a terminal illness to have the right to greater choices. In doing so we want to reduce the harm and suffering at end-of-life across our community. We want people to live and love with greater urgency.
What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?
The film will provoke and inspire a range of conversations for a broad audience across Australia and the world, with impact goals on an immediate and personal level, as well as at the level of institutional change.
On a personal level the film aims to promote deep reflection about what it means to live a good life, and what our own relationship to mortality is.
This will also trigger conversation between families and communities about end-of-life choices and attitudes towards death, as well as reflections on how to live a more compassionate engaged life in the community.
We aim to inspire communities to take action and governments to implement legislation and education around end-of-life choices- also encouraging further advances into Parkinson’s research.
Long term outcomes are a more engaged empowered society that responds compassionately in their end of life choices.
Based on test screenings, we believe our film will have a profound impact on a very broad audience.
How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?
We are partnering with aforementioned organisations to work with their social change campaigns and fundraising efforts to increase awareness and empower audiences to tangibly contribute to the change they want to see.
By partnering with our Australian New Zealand theatrical distributor Bonsai (In My Blood It Runs) to create a substantial national theatrical release for the film that will also include a wide array of community screenings and core audience engagement, we hope to create a wave of national press around the issue.
With a series of Q/A event screenings and interviews with publications and media outlets the director has existing relationship with (Sydney Morning Herald, The Saturday Paper, The Monthly Magazine, Who Magazine, Herald Sun, The 7pm Project, The Australian, ABC Radio, JJJ) the filmmaking team will be able to funnel web traffic directly back towards our partnering community groups websites and social media channels to effect real social change.
How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?
Because this project has grown out of a much longer four year research process for a series of upcoming films around death and dying, we have developed positive relationships with Parkinson’s research groups, Death Literacy organisations and Dying with Dignity lobbying groups across Australia, the US, the UK and Europe.
These communities are keen to have their causes amplified and we will continue to liaise with them as we develop our impact and release campaign.
We are also developing a cohort of celebrity ambassadors who will support the film’s core issues through social media for the film’s release.
Audience Engagement and Social Impact
What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?
1. Discuss death and dying in a new way with family, friends and community that adds meaning to the way we relate and how we live our lives.
2. Lobby for change in legislation around end-of-life choices and support action groups in these areas.
3. Donate time, money or expertise to Parkinson’s research.
4. Build communities that respond compassionately around end-of-life and grief.
Measurement and Evaluation
What is the projects indicators for success?
In partnership with our international network of outreach groups we will use qualitative measures to gather responses from audiences about how the film impacted their attitudes around facing their own or their loved ones mortality.
Audience numbers and critical responses to the film will be a measure of the success of the film’s impact. We will track numbers of community screenings and screenings held by change makers and stakeholders as indicators of success.
Our other key indicator is the amount of press we will generate as part of a theatrical and broad release in Australia and internationally.
Working with senior publicists, we will be able to leverage substantial press. For example we are currently in touch with journalists for The New York Times, the Guardian and Wall St Journal.
Our longer term goals will be measured by proof of an increase in legislative change for end of life choices and reduced suffering at the very end of life as well as a more death positive society.