Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist (1997)
Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 8.3/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 1,764
This documentary profiles poet/performance artist Bob Flanagan, who was born with cystic fibrosis. Flanagan explains, with engaging humor, how his obsession with controlled, self-inflicted pain has helped him to deal with his uncontrollable suffering. His philosophy forces one to look at sado-masochism with fresh eyes. The film includes explicit scenes of genital self-mutilation. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi
Nov 7, 1997 Wide
Sep 23, 2003
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This bold, intense, and uncompromising expose of S&M takes audiences to places thay have not been before; in moments, it's tough to watch but quite rewarding at the end.
Flanagan and Rose prove to be an exceptionally creative and intelligent couple who were able to turn their obsessions into art, albeit of a highly specialized kind and involving at times an overwhelmingly brutal exhibitionism.
There's never quite been a movie like Sick, which isn't interesting enough, alas, to make its repellent and morbid episodes bearable.
Does a remarkable thing in presenting extreme, sometimes revolting material and simultaneously making us like and admire Flanagan.
The title alone of Kirby Dick's alleged documentary Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist practically screams: "This is not your standard biopic!"
It contains language and depicts sexual acts that most will find appalling and intolerable, and this fact overshadows any enticing human element the film tries to extend.
Under the shackles, the film implies, is an unbroken human spirit triumphantly determined to not only stay alive, but actually enjoy himself while doing so.
For those willing to endure its more harrowing moments, Kirby Dick's documentary about Los Angeles artist Bob Flanagan is a touching and rewarding look at a charismatic and defiant man.
One of the funniest, most disturbing and poignant explorations of human nature ever made.
Whatever you want to call Sick, it's anything but a piece of exploitative voyeurism, by turns sombre, hilarious, wince-inducing and inspiring.
The story is uplifting, strangely enough, because Bob was able to live with the constant pain and discomforts of the disease by finding his own identity...
An exploration of sickness of the body and sickness of the mind on several profound levels.
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