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A film by Kirby Dick
Bob Flanagan was an American performance artist, stand-up comic, poet and lifelong sufferer from cystic fibrosis. He was also a masochist who found that his S&M experiences helped manage the pain of his illness. He met his perfect dominatrix partner in Sheree Rose, and married her in 1982 while she hung him upside down from a ceiling (as Flanagan wryly comments during one of his shows, 'You always hurt the one you love'). In this internationally acclaimed, award-winning documentary Kirby Dick follows Bob and Sheree through the last years of Flanagan's life. Deeply moving, often hilarious, Sick is a profile of a unique artist, giving an insight into Flanagan's warmth, courage and, especially his sense of humour.
US / 1997 /colour and black & white / English language, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles /90 minutes / original aspect ratio 1.33:1 / DVD9 / Dolby Digital stereo audio (320 kbps) / Region 2 DVD
Bob Flanagan was an artist who suffered from cystic fibrosis (CP). Sufferers from this condition usually don't live past their late teens, but Bob survived until the age of 43. In this movie the viewer sees how he copes with his illness, but not from a medical point of view: Bob has become an adept of SM in order to take control of his body and for once master his sufferings.
While the movie is undeniably gross, it does contain a deeper meaning which is more evident than anyone would possibly expect. It is also a fun documentary since Bob had a great sense of humour.
Ultimately you watch Bob's death in his hospital bed and it is hard not to be legitimately saddened with the departure of a person whose creativity and sense of humour were daring and ground-breaking.