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65_RedRoses 2009

Recommended

Distributed by Ro*co Films International, llc, 80 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 5, Sausolito, CA 94965; 415-332-6471
Produced by Force Four Entertainment
Directed by Philip Lyall and Mukerji Nimisha
DVD, color, 88 min.



Sr. High - General Adult
Death and Dying, Health Sciences, Organ Transplants, Internet, Blogs, Online Communities

Date Entered: 11/28/2011

Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

As a child, Canadian Eva Markvoort could not pronounce cystic fibrosis (CF), the fatal disease she was born with, calling it instead 65 Roses. Later, as a young adult, when CF is consuming her body, she adds her favorite color red to the name and goes online to blog about her experiences. In the process of writing her own online journal, Eva meets, supports and is supported by other young people also suffering from the degenerative effects of the disease.

In this first feature-length documentary, made by friends and recent graduates of the University of British Columbia film production program, Eva is 23 years old and waiting for a double lung transplant. Her health, always fragile, is at its lowest point and she has re-entered the hospital for monitoring and a series of painful procedures to clear her rapidly failing lungs. The film chronicles Eva’s life during and immediately after the nine-month period she waits for the organ transplant that will extend her life. Through this period, she actively blogs and becomes friends with two other young women with the same condition. Their stories, along with Eva’s, put a personal and intimate face on this deadly disease, what it means to be young and dying, and the importance of a strong support network. The lengthy and risky surgery, when it is finally performed, allows Eva to fully breathe for the first time in her young life. As the film ends, Eva is happy, healthy and active. Sadly, she died in April, 2010, at the age of 25.

This compassionate and emotional film touches on issues of health and technology that are worthy of further discussion. It has garnered several awards including:

  • Most Popular Canadian Film Award, Vancouver International Film Festival 2009
  • Top Ten Audience Favourite, Hot Docs International Film Festival 2009
  • Best Documentary Award, Arizona International Film Festival 2010
  • Audience Award, Best Documentary, Mendocino Film Festival 2010