When I Walk is the work of Jason DaSilva, a young filmmaker whose previous films have been featured at film festivals around the world. About nine years ago, at the age of 25, Jason was struck with progressive MS and decided to turn his camera on himself. His documentary When I Walk chronicles the first seven years of his struggle with PPMS in unflinching fashion, showing the effects of the disease warts and all even as it exposes the heart and soul of the man at the center of the storm. When the film opens, Jason is having some trouble walking; by its end he’s using a scooter full-time, his vision is increasingly affected, and the disease is attacking his hands to the extent that he needs help completing the movie. In between, we experience the physical and emotional roller coaster of MS as Jason searches for answers, possible cures, and even miracles. Though one might think this would make for gloomy subject matter, the film is an inspiring testament to Jason’s courage, the power of love, and the enduring nature of the human heart. Even as Jason’s body betrays him, he manages to find his soulmate, a woman special enough to love him despite all of the trepidation and uncertainties that come with MS.
Unlike the usual public face of MS, which typically features MSers climbing mountains or celebrities with MS "dancing with the stars", When I Walk gives us an unvarnished view of the realities of multiple sclerosis, a picture of the disease rarely seen by the public at large. For that alone the film deserves heaps of praise; the fact that When I Walk manages to inspire and illustrates the strength of the human spirit despite never shying away from the uncomfortable facts of life with progressive MS is testament to the artistry of the filmmaker, and makes the film "must watch" material for those both inside and outside of the MS community.
Here’s the When I Walk trailer:
It'd be terrific if Wheelchair Kamikaze readers left their impressions of the film in the comments section of this post…