WHEN I WALK
Directed by Jason DaSilva
Official Selection, 2013 Sundance Film Festival
Best Canadian Feature Documentary, 2013 Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival
Best Documentary, 2013 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Filmmaker Jason DaSilva has tackled a number of subjects in his past documentaries, from American jazz to the U.S. government’s policies on deportation. They’ve taken him from India to Cuba to Kenya. With his extraordinarily moving new film WHEN I WALK, DaSilva turns the camera inward, onto himself.
In the opening moments of the documentary, DaSilva is on a family vacation at Airport Beach in St. Maarten. He falls on the sand and the simple task of getting up becomes difficult and tedious. It turns out the fall was an early instance of multiple sclerosis, and he caught it on camera. A day after being diagnosed with MS, DaSilva instinctively continued to turn the camera on himself and his family, narrating what he discovers about his own body, about the disease, about disability access in New York City, and about his own capacity to persevere.
WHEN I WALK is not just about MS. It’s about personal moviemaking from the perspective of somebody whose ability to make a film is being tested day by day, especially as he starts to lose focus – not just mental focus, but also ocular focus. Last and certainly not least, the documentary is about love. Used to life as a charming, affable, good-looking man, DaSilva comes to grips with romance from a wheelchair. What he and the audience discover is incredible, romantic, and life-affirming. WHEN I WALK is a masterfully-executed personal documentary with astonishing clarity and insight into what the human spirit can accomplish. –Eric Lallana