Oliver Sacks: His Own Life

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Ric Burns’ film explores the life and work of the legendary neurologist, a fearless explorer of unknown mental worlds, who helped redefine our understanding of the brain and mind, the diversity of human experience, and the baseline of our shared humanity.


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A month after receiving a fatal diagnosis in January 2015, Oliver Sacks sat for a series of filmed interviews in his apartment in New York City. For eighty hours, he talked about his life and work, battles with drug addiction, homophobia, a medical establishment that long shunned his pioneering work on cognitive disorders, and his abiding sense of wonder at the natural world and the place of human beings within it. Drawing on these deeply personal reflections, as well as nearly two dozen interviews with close friends, family members, colleagues and patients, and archival material from every point in his life, this film is the story of a beloved doctor and writer who redefined our understanding of the brain and mind.
US/2020/dir by Ric Burns/ 110 mins