Competition Documentary Feature
Me to Play
Directed by: Jim Bernfield
USA, 2021, 72m
East Coast Premiere/2nd US Screening
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More than a million Americans are afflicted with Parkinson’s disease—a progressive disorder that disables the brain cells devoted to controlling movement and balance. However, only two of them have stepped onto the New York stage to perform Samuel Beckett’s vaudeville-styled, post-apocalyptic tragic-comedy Endgame: “Two actors with diminishing physical abilities playing two characters with diminishing physical abilities.” This documentary reveals the process Dan Moran and Chris Jones undergo to take on a monumentally difficult script in the midst of a calamitous health crisis, challenging their determination—and that of their families and collaborators—as much as their artistry. No one finds dark hilarity at the end of the world better than Beckett. No one more aptly captures the desperate optimism of the human spirit in the face of catastrophe. That is, until we meet Dan and Chris. When the body gives way, all that’s left is heart.
FFF alum Jay Rosenblatt’s extraordinary The Smell of Burning Ants (1994) examined boyhood aggression and shame. Now he comes full circle to excavate an almost forgotten incident from his own schoolyard days.