Terry Hunter recommends DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD

The new Netflix documentary, DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD, is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. It was made by middle aged filmmaker Kirsten Johnson who had a unique idea about how to celebrate the life of her elderly father who has Alzheimer’s. She imagines several ways he could die and has him act them out on camera. It sounds crazy but the result is both funny and touching. With the help of her stuntmen and make up artist friends, Kirstin Johnson films cartoon-like death scenes that she hopes will be fun for her good natured dad and bring them closer. “I always wanted to be in the movies,” her dad quips after one of the scenes. But the film is also quite serious in its intimate moments when daughter and father talk about the issues this former psychiatrist has to deal with, like not being allowed to drive anymore. As Kirsten says, “What loving demands is that we face the fears of losing each other, that when it gets messy, we hold each other close. And when we can, we defiantly celebrate our brief moments of joy.”

Terry Hunter recommends DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD