Kirsten Johnson (writer and director AND daughter of Dickey J) originally made a splash with a doc called Cameraperson in 2016. I won’t pretend that I had ever heard of her before her recent and profound, “Dick Johnson is Dead”.
In Dick Johnson is Dead, Johnson walks her dad figuratively speaking through his Seventh Day Adventist beliefs about death and the afterlife as he meanders further into old age and dementia. While this may sound bleak, Kirsten makes it fun, by allowing her Dad to experience his hope for Heaven and biggest wishes.
This should definitely be in the running for the Oscar doc this year for three simple reasons: universal thematically, moving and unique.
Wildly inventive, this movie will make you seek out your own family with fresh eyes and patience. I only wish I had seen it Friday night, alas, most often, we’re lucky enough to live another day and improve.
And while I had thought it quite morbid, seeing Dick Johnson experience his funeral live (literally), I now understand my Grandma wanting to read her eulogy before the lights go out.