Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist
Thu 20 February 2020
Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist (Kirby Dick, 1997), 90 min
Sick is not an easy film to watch. Roger Ebert, the famous American film critic, called it ‘one of the most agonizing films I have ever seen.’ But it is also full of humour, compassion and vitality in the face of death.
Kirby Dick’s film documents the final years of Bob Flanagan (pictured with his wife and collaborator Sheree Rose), a performance artist and masochist who, when he died in 1996 at the age of 43, was one also of the oldest survivors of cystic fibrosis, an invariably fatal genetic condition.
A deeply moving testament to Flanagan’s life, love and art, Sick transcends individual experience to examine the universal condition of being human and having a body.
Content warning: graphic nudity, BDSM activities, and end of life experience.