First, let me say that I have never been so profoundly moved by a documentary. And never before have I been ashamed to be white. My ancestor’s history, in many ways, is simply appalling and I am embarrassed to share that history which was so graphically painted in the new film “I Am Not Your Negro.” I do not want to be connected with that sordid history, but because of my skin color, I am. However, I hope that by drawing attention to films such as this, I can do my part in making things just a little bit better. I cannot change what happened in America’s past and I can never make that right, but I will try my best to act in kind ways to all people, always.
In the U.S., approximately 5600 people are diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease (MND), commonly referred to as ALS, although there are also other types. While the number doesn’t seem high, the number of family members it affects is tremendous. And if you are one of those 5600, then 1 is too many. This degenerative and debilitating disease, affecting both the upper and lower body neurons in the brain, eventually leaves the individual wheelchair bound, on a respirator, and unable to eat or talk on his or her own. Obviously, the effects, even for one individual, are devastating. However, filmmaker Simon Fitzmaurice finds a way to perhaps more than cope with this disease…he embraces what he has every day and inspires everyone in his life to cherish the life we are given. Filmmaker Frankie Fenton captures and tells Fitzmaurice’s emotional and remarkable journey in the uplifting documentary “It’s Not Yet Dark.”