thank_you_for_playing_stillComing to theatres today, Friday, March 18: THANK YOU FOR PLAYING

David Osit and Malika Zouhali-Worrall’s intimate portrait of a family’s reckoning with mortality made its debut at Tribeca last year. Screenings followed at New Orleans, Hot Docs, IDFA, Bentonville, Woods Hole, Melbourne, Camden, Antenna, United Nations Association, and Rio, among other events.

After Ryan and Amy Green learn that their one-year-old son Joel is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, the couple begin to reckon with this devastating news. While Joel outlives the initial prognosis and begins to stabilize, his cancer nevertheless is part of the family’s lives. As a way to acknowledge its impact, and to keep Joel foremost in their thoughts, they begin to collaborate on the development of an unusual immersive video game, That Dragon, Cancer, that chronicles Joel’s life and health struggle. Though it’s never exactly clear what the experience of the game actually entails – sequences shown in the film tend more toward the quieter and evocative than denoting any kind of real gameplay – its emotional impact is clearly witnessed after gamers try out a demo at a gaming conference, leaving the experience teary and hugging Ryan. Like the game, Osit and Zouhali-Worrall’s project is also an unusual undertaking, capturing parents working through ongoing grief in an oddly detached – and public – yet still affecting, manner.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Releases

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