Life According to Sam

Directed by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix

Starring Sam Berns

Progeria is an extremely rare and fatal disease, exemplified by accelerated aging in the children who are afflicted by it. There is no treatment. There is no cure. Enter Doctors Leslie Gordon and Scott Berns. When their son, Sam, was diagnosed with progeria at age two, the prognosis was grim—the couple were simply told to enjoy the few years they had left with their only son—but they weren’t willing to give up that easily. They spearheaded a campaign to save Sam and the other children in the world who share this devastating illness. In a little more than a decade, their extraordinary advances have led not only to identifying the gene that causes progeria and testing the first experimental drug to treat it but also to the amazing discovery that it is linked to the aging process in all of us.

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  • ★★★½ review by Matthew L. Brady on Letterboxd

    What a remarkable boy Sam Berns was.

    "Life According to Sam" tells the story about Sam Berns when he had progeria, a progressive aging disorder so rare that fewer than 250 children in the world had it at the time. Little was known about the disease, and all children with progeria died of heart attack or stroke at an average age of 13. Told there was no treatment or cure, they refused to accept that as the final verdict.

    Now normally I'm not such a big fan of documentary's but a couple of times I will find a interesting and enjoyable one time to time, but I don't really watch that much Documentary's. But what really got me interested in Life According to Sam is the fact when Sam Berns sadly passed away in January 2014 and I heard nothing but great and inspiring things from this kid and a Documentary about him made me inserted to know more from Sam and boy dose this Documentary do it well.

    I won't lie but this movie or Documentary if you like to call almost brought me into little tears, yeah I know it's not very manly to admit cracking up in a couple of scenes but since I've always got to be honest when it comes to movie I won't lie that this only most brought me into tears.

    Sean Fine and Andrea Nix did a excellent job directing this Documentary with much care and effort that made this more effective to me.

  • ★★★★½ review by Squasher88 on Letterboxd

    Strong subject matter is often the key ingredient for a great documentary and "Life According to Sam" has this in spades. The topic of the film is progeria, a rare disease of accelerated aging that is fatal (average life span of 13 years) to children like our title character Sam. It follows the determined medical research of the Progeria Research Foundation (founded by his parents and aunt) in an effort to find a cure. Though it's a heartbreaking issue, the film wisely asks the audience to refrain from excessive sympathy and pity. Sam himself isn't wallowing in self-pity (he aces his schoolwork and sets high goals for his future). Instead, the film focuses on understanding the disease, the children and the amazing work of the scientists and doctors. Simply put, it's about compassionate people simply trying to hold on to life, rather than fighting death. It's truly one of the most inspiring and heartwarming films of the year.

  • ★★★★ review by sarah 🌙 on Letterboxd

    I can't stop crying.

  • ★★★★ review by Keenan on Letterboxd

    An inspiring documentary, both in its look at the challenges of medical research and also on a personal level with the optimism of Sam and his family.

  • ★★★★ review by Mandie on Letterboxd

    Very well done and heart-breaking look at Progeria. That disease is fascinating and real sad.

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