Friday, May 17, 2013

Movie Review: 15 Reasons To Live

Have you ever made a list? Of course you have, whether it is a grocery list, general to-do list, or even the elusive bucket-list, these lists show a piece of our identity. In the film, 15 Reasons To Live, director Alan Zweig converses with many eclectic people who share their own reasons for existing. Positively stirred up by author, Ray Robertson’s collection of essays “Why Not? 15 Reasons to Live,” Alan takes a real look at the themes pertaining to love, intoxication, humour, solitude, work, duty, home and death.

15 Reasons To Live 

In a forth-right, yet conversational style, Alan goes beyond just the surface level of interviewing, allowing an honest platform for each person to share a personal story or memory as they vividly remember it.

Meet a young and inquisitive girl who is the constant literal punching bag at her Catholic school and is kicked out, due to not partaking in rituals and her questionable faith. Experience the life of an overwhelmed mother of five, who oddly finds sanctuary people-watching in a busy shopping mall.

Next, against all odds, after a serious stroke, an older man uses his determination to learn how to read again, even if it takes an entire day to read one single page of a book. A wealthy Chinese man is stuck in an unfulfilling career that keeps him in a depressive and suicidal state, until moving to Canada, where he is given a second lease on life and finds his true calling as a massage therapist.

There are also plenty of other stories to embrace, as the film carries on, in a slow but methodical pace.

I would definitely recommend viewing this film with your heart and mind fully open. Encounter some fascinating human miracles. The gambit of emotions that is felt throughout the film might seem like a pendulum, but I think that is truly what Alan was hoping for.

It’s all about taking a deeper look inside of our souls, asking questions that seem on some level beyond what we could fathom of explain to another person. It is also about the collective experience, sharing our memories, wisdom, and opportunities for growth and change, which keeps us in tune with the world that we live in and those that we hold a special place for to accompany us through life.

In the final moments of the film, it is evident that by listening to each story, and seeing each person through a different pair of eyes, our similarities outweigh our differences, and we are all connected.