The screenings, taking place in more than 20 countries, from the UK to Australia, are part of a Global Awareness Day for MND – also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
MND is a rapidly progressive and fatal disease. It can affect any adult at any time and attacks the motor neurones that send messages from the brain to the muscles, leaving people unable to walk, talk or feed themselves.
The cause of the disease is unknown, and there is no known cure. Around 5,000 people in the United Kingdom have MND at any one time, with half of these people dying within 14 months of diagnosis.
Neil Platt was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in February of 2008. Neil and his wife Louise started writing a blog, Plattitude, in July 2008 to keep their friends and family informed about how they were getting on and also to promote awareness of MND and help other people living with the disease.
‘I am breathing’ is a documentary of the last few months of Neil’s life. Within a year, he goes from being a healthy young father to becoming completely paralysed from the neck down. As his body gets weaker, his perspective on life changes.
Neil faces MND with incredible humour and honesty, determined to share this last stage of his life through his blog, which touched many people. With his blog posts forming the film’s narration, ‘I am breathing’ tries to listen to Neil as he asks: “What makes us human?” in the last months of his life.
The UK premiere of of the film took place yesterday, 20 June, at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Scottish Documentary Institute (SDI) and the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) are collaborating on this campaign. Screenings have already been booked in more than 20 countries including USA, Iceland, Russia, Estonia, Poland, China, India, Kenya, and Mexico.
Further information about the film and details of local screening are available on the I am breathing website.