TIFF 2017: Our Review of ‘Living Proof’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, Theatrical, TIFF 2017 by - September 12, 2017
TIFF 2017: Our Review of ‘Living Proof’

This is not Matt Embry’s first at bat at filming a documentary but this time around it’s hitting him hard. We first see him walking out of someone’s house. And he’s crying. He won’t be as emotional in other scenes but throughout the film we see him interviewing people with Multiple Sclerosis. Most of the time, the camera comes back to him.

Which irked me a bit because I preferred that the spotlight be on his talking heads instead. But I kind of understand this choice now, as much as I can’t fully abide by it 100%. This man, which one of his interviewees describe as handsome, is looking at the face of his own death. Because he’s fighting off the disease that his interviewees have.

Living Proof is about him and these people. Literal living proofs that people with MS can literally fight off the illness. That’s through a method that people from the Medieval era have been using to cure their ails. Diet and exercise. Which seems simplistic.

He’s also claiming that both the Canadian MS Society and the pharmaceutical industry have teamed up. For the benefit of the latter. Which leaves MS patients to suffer through drugs and side effects. Other credible documentaries have claimed that before Embry did. There is still the feeling that Embry’s too close to his subject matter. I’m sure an objective third party as a director would have been on his side anyway. But I wish someone else more subtle directed this.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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