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film review

When I Walk.

What's a committed filmmaker to do when he's diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and facing the first steps of a path of physical decline? Fortunately for filmgoers, Jason DaSilva picked up a camera to chronicle of his journey. The resulting movie mingles straight footage – much of it with DaSilva talking into the camera – as well as animation. This movie, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year, is harrowing stuff, eased only by DaSilva's appealing charm and wit. Then again, the fact that you can't help but like him makes his ordeal cut deeper as he loses his ability to walk and has to rely first on a cane, then a walker then a scooter, and has troubles with his vision, grip and ability to talk. Paying the bills would be an issue for most dealing with this situation, and it's a failing of the film that it doesn't deal a bit more with this point. That aside, this is a striking chronicle very much worth seeing and hard to forget if you do.

At VIFF: Sept. 28, 6:15 p.m., SFU; Oct. 3, 1 p.m., Playhouse