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Pre-order Your "How to Die in Oregon" DVD Now
Posted by Melissa Barber on December 20, 2011
My wife understood the meaning of her own life. It seems like a story about dying, but actually it is very much a story about living. -Stan Curtis, Cody Curtis' husband
This year, How to Die in Oregon has had two month-long runs on HBO, swept festivals all over the world, and has been hailed as "one of the most difficult-to-watch movies", "an unflinching piece of work", "wonderfully human", "a different kind of love story", and "hard but incredibly moving, even transformative watch". It's now available for advance ordering through New Video, and DVDs will ship on February 14, 2012.
On January 17, 2006, Peter Richardson, an Oregon native, knew his state's law would be the subject of his second documentary, How to Die in Oregon. Richardson walked through the airport to catch a flight to Utah for his first documentary's appearance at the Sundance Film Festival when he noticed a newspaper headline: the Supreme Court voted 6-3 to uphold Oregon's Death with Dignity Act.
In several interviews, Richardson has stated only a person who lived in Oregon could have filmed a documentary about people who requested prescriptions to hasten their deaths. It's not because only an Oregonian understands why terminally ill patients should have this option. Rather, it was "the sheer practicality of how would you make a film like this? It would take a long time. You'd almost have to be like a doctor; always on-call just because of the nature of the stories you were telling and the unpredictable nature of those stories."
After four years of filming, Richardson created a film which sensitively and intimately portrays the use of Oregon's Death with Dignity Act and the campaign to pass the second law in the state of Washington. Among the personal interviews with volunteers, advocates, and terminally ill patients throughout Oregon and Washington, the heart of the story emerges with Cody Curtis, her family and her oncologist. Through Cody and those around her, director Peter Richardson created an emotional and life-affirming film which will help people everywhere better understand what it means to regain control of one's own end of life care when faced with a terminal illness and to die with dignity.
Some of the top accolades for this groundbreaking film:
- Sundance Film Festival: Documentary Grand Jury Prize
- Full Frame Documentary Film Festival: Center For Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award and The Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights
- Hot Docs Film Festival: Top Ten Audience Favorite
- Official Selection: SXSW Film Festival
- Ashland Independent Film Festival: Best feature length documentary
- Portland International Film Festival: Best Documentary Audience award
- Big Sky Documentary Film Festival: Opened the festival to a crowd of over 800
Read more about Richardson and his film in The Arts category of our blog.
Posted on December 20, 2011 in “How to Die in Oregon” - A Documentary
Defend dignity. Take action.
You are the key to ensuring well-crafted Death with Dignity laws for all Americans. With your financial and volunteer help, the Death with Dignity National Center, a 501(c)(3), non-partisan, non-profit organization, has been the leading advocate in the death with dignity movement. Member contributions helped us pass a new Death with Dignity law in Washington, defend the Oregon law, and provide education and outreach programs for the vitality of the death with dignity movement.