So Much So Fast

USA | 2006 | 87 min

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When asked what he would do differently in the five years since his ALS diagnosis, Stephen Heywood replied, "Have more sex on film."

What would you do if at 29 you only have a few years to live? So Much So Fast is about the remarkable events set in motion when Stephen Heywood discovered he had the paralyzing neural disorder ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).

Over 5 years, Oscar nominees Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan track one family’s ferocious response to an orphan disease: the kind of disease drug companies ignore because not there’s not enough profit in curing it.

With no medical background, Stephen’s brother Jamie creates a guerilla-science research group and in two years builds it from three people in a basement to a multi-million dollar ALS mouse facility, the largest anywhere. Finding a drug in time becomes Jamie’s obsession.

Stephen says you can’t live every day like it’s your last (since you’d be hung over every morning). Instead, he gets married, has a son and rebuilds two houses. He and his wife Wendy’s laser-like observations of the world and their predicament go to the heart of the fragility of being alive.

Ascher and Jordan were inducted into the stunning world of ALS when Jeanne’s mother, who is featured in their film Troublesome Creek (Sundance Grand Jury Prize), came down with the disease. Like the Jordan family of Troublesome Creek, the Heywoods are smart, acerbic and capable of upending the clichés of their situation with black humor and real insight.

So Much So Fast makes tangible the bonds between parents and children, husbands and wives, and siblings who are also best friends. We watch as some of these bonds withstand unimaginable pressure and others break. Audiences get an inside view of scientific discovery and what happens when a group of researchers goes up against the scientific establishment.

So Much So Fast is about the biggest questions of life. The answers are never what you’d expect.

  • DIR Steven Ascher & Jeanne Jordan
    SCR Steven Ascher & Jeanne Jordan
    CAST Stephen Heywood, Jamie Heywood, Ben Heywood, Wendy Heywood, Ken Thompson, Robert Bonazoli

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