At 30, Patrick O'Brien was TransFatty: NYC DJ, Internet personality, and filmmaker. Then he was diagnosed with ALS (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's disease). Given 2 to 5 years to live, Patrick braves the unthinkable and turns his camera onto himself. Forcefully lacking self-pity, he captures the emotion, humor, and absurdity of real life as he makes art, gets political, falls in love, and fathers a son.
This is a stunningly beautiful film.... fun and inspiring and outrageous. I've been looking forward to seeing this for months, but was worried it would be half depressing or disturbing. Truth is ALS is what is depressing and disturbing. But this film is not. Patrick lives with creativity and humor, and with a core sense of LIFE within the most challenging circumstances. He finds ways to both give and receive kindnesses that just represent the core of our humanity. This film isn't clinical or political.... there isn't a lot of technical focus on the medical side of ALS... or on the severe underfunding of the disease. It is a human centered film... Patrick keeps his humanity front and center. If you want to both laugh and cry... if you have any connection to ALS.... (or any other physically compromising issues).... if you are able bodied and want to suddenly just feel profoundly grateful that you still have the grip of your opposable thumb.... this is a film to watch. No surprise it has won so many awards. Hope there are more coming Patrick!
Patrick has ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and it sucks. It’s been destroying his body while leaving his creative mind perfectly intact. As a filmmaker he set out on day one to record his struggle and 10 years later the result is a beautiful and at times heart wrenching documentary.
After hitting the film festival circuit earlier this year (unsurprisingly picking up a handful of awards along the way) TRANSFATTY LIVES is finally available on demand. This labor of love and celebration of life deserves your attention.
Heartbreaking and uplifting. Transfatty Lives is a beautiful love letter from an artist to his son. While the laughs are equal to the tears, this is a sobering look not only into the lives of ALS patients, but all individuals (and their families) who have to deal with long term chronic illness. In a society that doesn't not value the contributions of the disabled nor strives to assist them in living with dignity, Transfatty Lives shines a light on the dire state of America's long term healthcare system. But ultimately, this is Patrick's story and this story is a triumph!