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Oliver Sacks: His Own Life

1hr 54mins
Directed by
Ric Burns
Oliver Sacks

Through our Virtual Screening Room, you can rent films curated by the Coolidge team, while helping to support the Coolidge during this unprecedented time.

A month after receiving a fatal diagnosis in January 2015, Oliver Sacks sat down for a series of filmed interviews in his apartment in New York City. For eighty hours, surrounded by family, friends, and notebooks from six decades of thinking and writing about the brain, he talked about his life and work, his abiding sense of wonder at the natural world, and the place of human beings within it. Drawing on these deeply personal reflections, as well as nearly two dozen interviews with close friends, family members, colleagues and patients, and archival material from every point in his life, this film is the story of a beloved doctor and writer who redefined our understanding of the brain and mind.

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Plus, we were delighted to host a virtual Q&A with renowned surgeon, writer, and public health leader Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, who is featured in the film, and with executive director of the Oliver Sacks Foundation Kate Edgar. The conversation was moderated by Sean B. Carroll, PhD. Watch here or at the embedded video below:

Every new release we offer will be available through the individual distributor's websites and streaming services. You'll be taken to their websites to purchase and watch the film, but a portion of your ticket will help support the Coolidge. Having technical issues? Visit our FAQ page here.

Review Text

One of the surprising and moving lessons of this revealing film is how often the most gifted people are unappreciated.

Review Author
Stephen Farber
Review Publication
Hollywood Reporter
Review Text

A deftly edited mix of archival footage, still imagery, talking-head interviews and in-the-moment narrative.

Review Author
Glenn Kenny
Review Publication
New York Times

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