No Ordinary Campaign makes no facade that it’s an advertisement. Throughout the story, many pieces of information are presented in a montage style. For most films, I would call this phony propaganda. But not this one. For its campaigning something that is shockingly absent from the Healthcare Industry. ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a disease pronounced incurable with a six-month life expectancy after diagnosis. For those diagnosed with ALS, the muscles rapidly begin to fail. Walking, to speaking, becomes nonfunctional until the ability to breathe independently ultimately declines leading to the victim’s death. Funding that could go towards a cure isn’t present from the government. Brian Wallach sought to change that.
Nor Ordinary Campaign isn’t about any ordinary man. Brian Wallach is a gifted lawyer who worked under President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign as a young man. During a routine Doctor visit to investigate a cough, Brian is given his ALS death sentence. If I were in Brian’s situation, I’d likely crawl up into a ball and die. Brian launched a non for profit dedicated to finding a cure for ALS. Brian’s story is harrowingly hopeful. Where most documentaries end with small victories with more to come, No Ordinary Campaign is a resounding success. Director Christopher Burke weaves an uplifting tale made in times that desperately could use genuine positivity.
After seeing COVID give the world a preview of the apocalypse, with the sea levels rising and a possible third world war with Russia, the world can seem hopeless. It’s easy to fall into despair, but No Ordinary Campaign challenges the audience to hope. A brilliant man like Brian has the resources to change the world. Not everyone can be Brian Wallach. Nevertheless, we can follow his example. If a challenge is presented, Brian chooses to tackle it head-on and get actual results. What was pronounced hopeless is beginning to change its way around.
Within the last few years, the FDA has accelerated development and research toward pharmaceutical drugs that can help cure ALS. More recently, President Joe Biden signed the Accelerated Access to Critical Therapies for ALS act. The AACT plan funds the research toward fostering treatment for ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases thanks to Brian’s actions. By the film’s end, Brian looks better! Not only has he made a difference, but he might live. That’s uplifting and something that should be seen to be believed.
Christopher Burke weaves a tight narrative thanks to the expert editing by Maida De Zan Hatch, Scott Shepard, and Mr. Burke. The film is only an hour and nineteen minutes long. It comes in to state a point, lift spirits, then leave before overstaying its welcome. Much of the running time could have been tacked on with gripping moments of Brian’s health failing him. However, the movie is more occupied with its audacity of hope.
Brian’s iron will doesn’t allow him to be emotionally weak during moments when he must endure strength. In a telling moment, Brian is preparing his statement to congress. Assisting him in his speech is his partner Sandra. Having difficulty with her emotions during a crucial moment, Sandra informs Brian that she will have an emotional breakdown. Lightly, Brian tells her not to do that since it won’t help anyone. It’s Brian’s cool sense of mind that most of us don’t have. The only moments he weeps are when he accomplishes something big and he can finally let all those bottled-up emotions out.
Even without Brian’s congressional resources, I, along with anyone with access to the internet, have a voice. With that voice, we can urge congress to act, elect representatives who represent the people instead of the lobbyists, and bring about awareness to issues that fall to deaf ears. Brian’s story gives me some much-needed inspiration against today’s grim realities. Brian Wallach proves that you can make a congress that operates at a glacial pace shift to a lighting speed with enough public support.
No Ordinary Campaign should be viewed with friends and family. It will have you laughing and crying at the right moments. The only thing that made me wince was some of the music that sounded like corny pop band tunes. Still, it’s not a significant complaint amidst a marvelous watch of a documentary. More than anything, No Ordinary Campaign inspires viewers to act against injustice with peace and prosperity over rage and anguish.
No Ordinary Campaign was viewed in conjunction with The Chicago International Film Festival. It will be playing this Saturday at 3:30 pm along with Brian Wallach and Director Christopher Burke in attendance. The moderator will be Katie Couric. https://ift.tt/zVPJAqS