On the Bridge

A fascinating documentary (1992) that's much easier to watch than you'd think. Filmmaker Frank Perry (David and Lisa, Mommie Dearest) charts his own determined fight against inoperable cancer, and the amazing thing is how cheerful it makes him seem. Part of his philosophy (and the film's) is that state of mind influences state of body, which means that he tries out all sorts of alternative healing methods, many of which seem to work; perhaps even more important is the attitude he takes toward his search and his joyful sense of discovery. The film is as interesting for what it leaves out as for what it includes (we learn nothing about his family or his closest friends, apart from his cameraman and sound person), but what it includes seems like very strong medicine.

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