How to Die in Oregon

(2011)

Genres: Documentary, Drama, Family

Review: How to Die in Oregon

Transcript for Review: How to Die in Oregon

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
Ok, also airing on HBO is the documentary "How to Die in Oregon," which had me crying even before the opening titles, and I pretty much bawled my eyes out the entire way through. It was also one of the big winners at this year's Sundance film festival.

The movie tells the intimate story of several Oregon residents who are terminally ill and want to end their lives under the state's assisted-suicide law. One of them is Cody, who has long been suffering from liver cancer.
 
Clip 3 -- Cody showing her pills in the bedroom

But while she and the film's other subjects can be pragmatic about the prospect of dying -- and while they look forward to no longer being in pain -- still, there is the agonizing realization that they're leaving their loved ones behind.
 
Clip 2 -- Cody gardening, talking about kissing her husband and talking to her children
 
Regardless of how you feel about the issue of physician-assisted suicide from a moral or religious standpoint, it's impossible not to be moved by witnessing the final moments of a person's life -- especially when that person knows these are the final moments. "How to Die in Oregon" is brutal to watch, but also full of grace -- and, ultimately, it's life affirming. It begins airing on HBO starting on this Thursday, May 26th.

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
I said this before on the show I think, that one of the best things that movies can do is make people look at things they'd rather look away from and this is just unflinching and your right about that opening scene, the pre-credits scene in which they show a man, you know, dying from a, drinking, you know, a mixture for assisted suicide.

CHRISTY:
And he's so matter of fact about it, he's like whoever drinks this next, warn them, it tastes like wood, it tastes horrible, it's amazing.

IGNATIY:
Yeah, no, everything is very candid you really get good sense of the lives of these people, the reasons they're making these decisions. It is hard, it's grueling to watch...

CHRISTY:
Yeah when this played at Sundance, there was like a half full house, no one wanted to go see it, it's sort of a tough sell, so I'm glad it's airing on HBO and maybe in the comfort of your own home you don't mind breaking down like blubbering fool.

IGNATIY:
Yea, I really hope that people see this, because this is something that should be discussed, it's something that people should look at, should think about that I think people are more than willing to not, to not address, to just put in the back of their minds.