'When We Walk': Release date, plot, trailer and all you need to know about the documentary on living with multiple sclerosis
'When We Walk' is more or less a love letter from a father struggling with multiple sclerosis to his young son, who is the center of his universe
Living with a disorder like multiple sclerosis can be extremely difficult. The condition is unpredictable, with symptoms that come and go, and it's often hard for a person as well as those around them to think about what could happen. Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative disorder of the central system. Although the root cause is pretty much unknown, the immune system is responsible for the nerve damage that impairs movement, speech and thought process. At least 250,000 to 350,000 people in the US are currently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, as per the National Institutes of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, but it is difficult to accurately determine the number.
Jason DaSilva has been living with a severe case of multiple sclerosis for over 10 years. His life and experience with the disorder inspired him to make a film about his condition, where he documented how he dealt with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. The product was the Emmy Award-winning feature-length documentary film 'When I Walk'. Now, the filmmaker brings us the second installment in his documentary trilogy, titled 'When We Walk'. Here is everything you need to know about it.
'When We Walk' will be available on-demand starting September 7.
The events in the follow-up film take place six years after 'When I Walk' and chronicle DaSilva's struggle to stay close with his son. Bound to his wheelchair, he is hit with the realization of just how many places he is unable to experience or enjoy with his son. As a solution to this predicament, he drafts a non-profit AXS Map to help him pinpoint the place he could go. But when his son moves 1,700 miles away from him to Austin, Texas, DaSilva is unable to cope with his absence. Determined to stay by his son's side, he attempts to relocate to Austin, which ultimately sends him on a rollercoaster ride riddled with challenges of the broken health system. He also realizes the threat of powerlessness many disabled people are bound to face. He learns that access to the Medicaid system would require him to live in a nursing home.
'When We Walk' is more or less a love-letter from a father struggling with multiple sclerosis to his young son, who is the center of his universe. It is a poignant, candid and endearing story of a father and filmmaker with the unceasing drive to capture the essence of life on camera and show his son what it means to never give up. In a nutshell, the film is an impactful, real-life and relatable account of the ups and downs of human life, through the perspective of a disabled person, whose everyday struggles comprise putting up with a healthcare system that is failing him, and the hardships of family separation.
DaSilva is a prolific filmmaker with a career spanning 15 years. He has four short films and two feature-length documentaries under his belt. His films have had national broadcast on PBS, HBO and CBC. 'When I Walk' earned him an Emmy Award in 2015 for Outstanding Informational Programming and was also an Official Selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. It won Best Canadian Feature at Hot Docs 2013. He won three awards in 2014 for 'When I Walk', the AAPD Mobility Magazine’s Person of the Year, the Paul E Hearn Leadership Award and the Christopher Award for Excellence in Film. DaSilva has also designed AXS Map, a website and accessibility database to find disability-friendly places around the world.
Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and producer Richard O'Connel serves as executive producer of 'When We Walk' and Leigh DaSilva, president of the award-winning production company In Face Films, is the producer.
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