Breathing Lessons

35min | 1996
The Oscar-winning film that inspired the new movie "The Sessions," starring William H. Macy, Helen Hunt, and John Hawkes. 

According to Mark O'Brien, "The two mythologies about disabled people break down to one: we can't do anything, or two: we can do everything. But the truth is, we're just human." O'Brien was a frequently published journalist and poet, and a contributor to National Public Radio. He contracted polio in childhood and, due to post-polio syndrome, spent much of his life in an iron lung. Yet for more than forty years, he fought against illness, bureaucracy and society's conflicting perceptions of disability for his right to lead an independent life.

Breathing Lessons breaks down barriers to understanding by presenting an honest and intimate portrait of a complex, intelligent, beautiful and interesting person, who happens to be disabled. Incorporating the vivid imagery of O'Brien's poetry, and his candid, wry and often profound reflections on work, sex, death and God, this provocative film asks: what makes a life worth living?

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Topics: Academy Awards, Oscar, Disability, Polio, Hospital, Relationships, Humanity, Poetry, Illness, Society, Intimacy, Sex, Family, Medicine
Reviews: A 25 Fans
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Comments

Catherine
Catherine
November 8, 2014
A+
Guy Priano
Guy Priano
June 27, 2014
A
Amazing spirit!
Mauro Farronato
Mauro Farronato
March 7, 2014
A+
maryanne rice
maryanne rice
January 23, 2014
A
Lilith moon
Lilith moon
January 10, 2014
A+
Kayla Rigney
Kayla Rigney
December 18, 2013
A+
Amaranta Heredia
Amaranta Heredia
November 25, 2013
A
Steve Robb
Steve Robb
November 18, 2013
A
great determination and attitude.
debra sparks
debra sparks
November 18, 2013
A
THIS is why we still need the shots! Remember the iron lung kids???
bettina berroth
bettina berroth
October 9, 2013
A
never complain too much about your personal mischieves...as long as you're there life has lots to give!