Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist (1997)

Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist (1997)

Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Those with delicate constitutions and a low tolerance for graphic self-mutilation, sado-masochistic sex, and the frank depiction of a terminal illness will probably not enjoy this outrageous documentary chronicle of the life of the late performance artist/poet Bob Flanagan who spent much of his life fighting the debilitating effects of cystic fibrosis. The winner of a special recognition award at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, and filmed over a four year period, Flanagan's story is told by his wife/domantrix Sheree Rose. What follows is one of the most intense explorations of a long-term sadomasochistic relationship on film.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Musical & Performing Arts, Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 23, 2003
Runtime:

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Critic Reviews for Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (8)

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.

Full Review… | February 7, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Does a remarkable thing in presenting extreme, sometimes revolting material and simultaneously making us like and admire Flanagan.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

One of the most agonizing films I have ever seen.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | November 7, 1997
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

An extremely interesting artist who provides a deep glimpse into the nature of pain. He demonstrates, mostly with his body, the clear, yet often confounding, large gap between unwanted pain and consensual pain. If you've ever been intrigued, excited, or outright confused by masochism, let Bob give you a colorful education on the matter.

Also worth noting is how impeccable director Kirby Dick is when it comes to picking subjects for his documentaries. This was his first international hit, and it is quite clear why it was so hailed, especially in the era before the internet where self-documented extreme masochistic acts were not a google search away or conveniently categorized on BMEzine..

Stinger839
_kelly .King

Super Reviewer

Insightful documentary on Bob Flanagan who fought cystic fribrosis by becoming a masochist. Not just any old masochist. No, he became a super masochist; doing to his body what few others had the desire to do, let alone the nerve.

Introduced to most from NIN's "Happiness In Slavery" video, he's not just a pervert or a weirdo, but a person who has spent everyday facing his mortality and found a way to survive and to outlast an illness that should have killed him in his childhood.

DrBenway
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

½

[font=Century Gothic]"Sick" is a documentary that starts out with Bob Flanagan, performance artist, reading his own obituary. Flanagan suffered from cystic fibrosis since he was a child and was not given long to live. But he beat the odds, by using masochism as a coping mechanism(coupled with a healthy sense of humor) and eventually became involved in a submissive, loving, and long-term relationship with his partner, Sheree Rose.(As a 17 year-old cystic fibrosis survivor, Sara, who gets to meet Flanagan through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, puts it, masochism is being able to have some control over your body.) [/font]

[font=Century Gothic]This is not an easy movie to watch, however, as it is extremely graphic in its depictions of Flanagan's illness and sexuality. At the same time, the documentary uses these images to attack taboos concerning sickness, sadomasochism and death. [/font]

Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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