In this 3-part series, filmmaker Kirsten Johnson brings her mix of empathy and irreverence to conversations with leading thinkers and practitioners about caregiving, mortality, and what matters most.
Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Kirsten Johnson chats with Dr. Eelco F.M. Wijdicks--one of the most accomplished experts on brain death and in neurological critical care in the world--in this 3-part series inspired by her newly-released Netflix documentary Dick Johnson is Dead. He and Kirsten will discuss the representation of illness and medicine in movies and how that affects real interactions with healthcare providers, patients, and families.
Using her unique mix of empathy and irreverence, Kirsten will draw out wisdom and surprises from a film-loving neurologist (Dr. Eelco Wijdicks, Nov. 24), a Manhattan psychoanalyst (Dr. Josie Oppenheim, Dec. 1) and an iconic philosopher and integrative medicine pioneer (Deepak Chopra, Dec. 8) in an attempt to understand how we care, live, die, mourn, and remember at this moment in history. Unlike a traditional interview, guests will be asking Kirsten their own questions about the ethics of caregiving, the art of filmmaking, and creative responses to grief and loss. Series co-presenters include Family Caregiver Alliance, Museum of the Moving Image, and Rooftop Films.
Dr. Eelco F.M. Wijdicks is Professor of Neurology, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Founding Chair of the Division of Critical Care Neurology and attending neurointensivist in the Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit at Saint Marys Hospital (Mayo Clinic Campus Rochester). He has been the founding editor of the journal Neurocritical Care, the official journal of the Neurocritical Care Society. He originated the FOUR score coma scale. He has been named Honorary Member of the Neurocritical Care Society. He is an associate professor of the history of medicine and current president of the International Society of the History of Neurosciences. He has over 750 research papers, practice guidelines, topic reviews, book chapters and editorials to his credit. He has single authored 15 books including Cinema, MD: A History of Medicine on Screen and Neurocinema.
Kirsten Johnson’s previous film, Cameraperson—named to the New York Times' "top 10 films of 2016"—premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was shortlisted for an Academy Award. Her short The Above premiered at the 2015 New York Film Festival and was nominated for the IDA Documentary Award for Best Short. Her camerawork appears in Academy Award winner Citizen Four, Academy Award nominee The Invisible War, and Cannes Film Festival award winner Fahrenheit 9/11.
In the film Dick Johnson is Dead, a cameraperson seeks a way to keep her 86-year-old father alive forever. Utilizing moviemaking magic and her family’s dark humor, she celebrates Dr. Dick Johnson’s last years by staging fantasies of death and beyond. Together, dad and daughter confront the great inevitability awaiting us all. After its premiere earlier this year at Sundance, the film was awarded a Special Jury Award for Innovation in Nonfiction Filmmaking.