Sunday, February 10, 2013

Life According to Sam - A Sundance Film Review

US Documentary
Directed by: Sean & Andrea Nix Fine

This is a story about Sam Berns, the son of Drs. Leslie and Scott Berns of Foxborough, MA. Sam, just before he turned two, was diagnosed with progeria, an extremely rare and fatal disease that affects only about 250 children worldwide. It speeds up the aging process of the child so that by the time that they are 12 their bodies are aged like an 80 year old and usually die of heart attacks or strokes. 

The parents immediately started a foundation and eventually discovered the gene that causes progeria and so began an experimental drug program for about 18 of the children affected by this disease. I was so struck by the pro-life message of this film, especially how the parents loved Sam, held him, took care of him and consoled him. It was a film about hoping against all hope. Being both doctors, the parents are documented as expressing their utter helplessness before this rare disease. They can help and heal others but they could do nothing for their son. It required a heroic letting go and surrender. 

Often in life it is only in moments of complete surrender that we can trust God to direct our lives. In our helplessness we come to know that we are not in control. We can and should do all we can to help those we love, but at a certain point, our fallibilities take over. We can only surrender in trust. I experienced this hope-filled message in this film, especially when the humor breaks forth through it all. Sam and his parents have struggled, but also have hoped and that hope gives life. Video Trailer

No comments: