Nothing scares me like cancer. When I go through the awful task of tallying the people that I’ve seen die, over half of them fell to some form of the disease. My grandfather, my aunt, my girlfriend’s mother two years ago, my roommate’s father in April, and more and more. The 20-year old friends with testicular or thyroidal cancer they’re lucky enough to catch early. A friend who woke up one day with lung cancer before he was thirty. He’s lucky, too; one hundred percent cancer-free but, as he puts it, fifty percent lung-free. With a network of scars and a pile of bills to prove it.
So I’m glad I was alone to watch Survivors, the short film Errol Morris made for Stand Up To Cancer, because it killed me. Morris is working near the top of his game lately, with the film Standard Operating Procedure, the associated book and the work he’s been doing with the New York Times. Survivors uses all the skills and technology Morris has honed over the years: a deceptively simple interview style, stark presentation, the Interrotron. It’s eight of your minutes well-spent.
Survivors is available as a podcast on iTunes.