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U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Innovation in Nonfiction Storytelling — Dick Johnson Is Dead

Dick Johnson Is Dead

What if you could make your loved ones live forever? Dick Johnson Is Dead is Kirsten Johnson’s delirious and desperate attempt to keep her aging father alive. In this effort she turns to the magic of cinema to kill him, resurrect him, and celebrate his last years on earth.

Toggling between observational documentary and fictional fantasy, longtime cinematographer Kirsten Johnson peels back layers of moviemaking as she and her father share a quest to face his death together. Their challenge is heightened by the erosive effect of dementia, which menaces Dick Johnson (both the person and the movie), but will not deter their commitment to explore the unlikely ways in which we might love and know each other all the way to the end.

Exuberantly creative, joyous, funny, and heartbreaking, Dick Johnson Is Dead is a cinematic ode to one very lovely man from his ridiculously talented daughter—and a beguiling gift to all of us lucky enough to see it.

Closed captioning, audio description, and enhanced audio for assistive listening are available for this film.

CATEGORY Award Winners

RUN TIME 89 min