New to VOD this week:
DO SOMETHING: THE JEFFREY MODELL STORY
VOD release (June 2019)
A couple reflects on the impact of their son’s rare disease on their lives.
As an infant, it became clear to his parents that Jeffrey Modell was suffering from some kind of health issue. After numerous consultations with doctors and hospital stays, he was diagnosed with primary immunodeficiency, a rare condition that made him susceptible to life-threatening illness. Though Jeffrey was a fighter and maintained optimism about his odds, he died at the age of 15. His parents, Fred and Vicki, decide to honor his memory by starting a foundation to support research into his disease, reaching out to pharmaceutical companies and senators to support legislation and research, and doing a lot of promotion, taking a small initial investment and turning it into a sustainable charity to hopefully find a cure. While there’s certainly some power in the Modells’ recounting of their son’s life and death, once the focus turns to the foundation’s story, the film becomes self-promotional, underlining that the project is a fairly standard awareness doc best used as a fundraising tool rather than for general audience exposure.