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'Heartbreaking' film about dying architect to premier in UK

An award-winning documentary film about how a 34-year-old architect with motor neurone disease faces his death is to premier in London next week

Hailed as ‘one of the year’s most moving films’, I Am Breathing shows the last months of Neil Platt’s life as he deteriorates from being a healthy young father to become paralysed from the neck down.

The architect, who died in February 2009 and who had worked at Watkins Gray International Architects in London, puts together a letter and memory box for his baby son Oscar as he recounts memories and tries to make sense of his life.

The film will be shown at the Cinema Museum in London as part of an international screening day on Friday 21 June 2013 for Global Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Awareness Day.

Screenings will take place across the world on the day in locations as diverse as New York, California, Poland, Iceland, Bahrain, India, Australia, Estonia and Kosovo.

All proceeds will be donated to the MND Association.

Directors’ statement - Emma Davie and Morag McKinnon

Sometimes films just demand to be made, even if they are difficult.This was one of them.

The film was prompted by Neil himself. He wanted to communicate about his experience with motor neurone disease in the last months of his life. He already had an ever-increasing audience for a blog he was keeping and wanted to reach out further. This in itself was not reason to make the film. Who he became in these last months is what seemed to demand to be communicated.

Filming this stage of life is full of ethical dilemmas and questions. We let these questions and interrogations help guide us and shape the structure of the time. It became clearer how to form it when we used Neil’s own words from his blog to tell the story, not just of his body - which was failing - but of his mind and imagination, which was limitless, witty and compassionate. We set ourselves the task of asking how the film could get under his skin while still respecting the ‘unknowable’ nature of his experience.
We hope that Neil - a good friend and collaborator in this process - would have approved of this film. He wanted his story to get out there.

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