15 Reasons to Live
PROD Julia Rosenberg
CAM Naomi Wise
ED Eamonn O’Connor
Inspired by Ray Robertson’s Why Not? 15 Reasons to Live, this is a journey that takes in personal quests, amazing anecdotes and poignant reflections. Director Alan Zweig shares reminiscences of his own life and interviews people who, like all of us, have had experiences that speak to ideas of real importance. Among the people we meet are two couples who risked their lives to free a humpback whale on the open water, a young girl who took a brave stand against religious conformity and a man who decided to literally walk the Earth.
These people and their stories come under chapter headings: Solitude, Critical Thinking, Friendship, Love. Zweig builds a bridge from the abstract to the particular, and there are some surprising results. He speaks to a mother of four who finds peace in a mall, staring at anonymous crowds; it’s episodes like this that bring personality and circumstance into the mix, broadening the definitions while still affirming them. Drawing from personal experience, Zweig moves between sadness and hope, drawing much of the latter from his subjects. Their thinking is deep but calm, and all the more substantial for it: the mode is one of contemplation, not instruction. But you’ll still learn something valuable.