Documentary filmmaker Kirsten Johnson asks her father Dick, a former therapist, to participate in a film she wants to do on his final years. He agrees and together they do various schemes where one minute he is fine then wham he is “dead.”
This is their way of coming to terms with his death through half serious/half fun scenarios.
It is not until the viewer learns later in the film that her mother did not just die as a result of a fall but Alzheimer’s too. And when Kirsten and her father learn he has it; its deja vu again. And rather than stopping the documentary they decide to keep going.
I thought as Dick’s Alzheimer’s progresses that Kirsten is taking advantage of her father. However, toward the end of the film I came to realize that the documentary is now the way the two of them are facing down the bad hand that is being dealt.
To lighten his “death scenes” Kirsten does Heaven scenes with her father and he is loving it. Yes there are other moments in the documentary when things do get teary but Kirsten is able bring back lighter moments as many times as she can. This is a very moving film and very worthwhile to watch.