When I Walk

(2013, 85 mins)
Classification: G
Country: Canada / USA


Jason DaSilva’s world changed in December of 2006. While vacationing with his family, he suddenly fell down on the beach and couldn’t get back up. In a matter of months, he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Doctors told him it could lead to loss of vision and muscle control, and the slow deterioration of his ability to walk. Jason decided to exercise more, but the problem just got worse. His mother reminded him that he was a fortunate, privileged North American kid who had the opportunity to pursue the things he loved most—art and filmmaking. So, Jason picked up the camera, turned it on himself, and began filming the slow, difficult decline of his body—and the miracles he encountered along the way.

Through his cinematic talents and magnetic personality, DaSilva sheds light not only on his struggles with the disease, but its impact—and even its influence—on his creative process and his relationships. When I Walk is an intimate depiction of a disorder that is rarely portrayed on film, and a rousing example of storytelling at its most direct, personal and affecting.

"DaSilva’s experience behind a camera shows in his brisk pacing, clear narrative structure, and the awareness that a story of sickness needs lighthearted distractions… Fueled by […] uncompromising intelligence and unrelenting candor." Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

“DaSilva’s strength and resilience … shines through every frame of his story… It’s a lovely, inspiring film, deeply personal and honest.” Kim Voynar, Movie City News

"When I Walk makes it very clear that Jason isn’t all alone despite his support system. Rather, his support system, including his mom, makes him who he is, even more than his malfunctioning legs and hands. His life isn’t his disease, and neither […] is his lovingly collaborative film." Noah Berlatsky, The Dissolve