| 7.5/10 |
16 March 2015
| Elizabeth Giamatti, Alex Sichel|
Elizabeth Giamatti, Alex Sichel, Christine Vachon
Alex Sichel, Melissa James Gibson
Lili Taylor, Jonathan Cake, Maeve McGarth, Lynn Cohen, Clea Lewis, Frank Wood
Pola Rapaport, Ramsey Fendall
Alex Sichel, Elizabeth Giamatti
Lili Taylor movies, Terminal illness movies, Cancer movies
A Woman Like Me is a 2014 documentary that runs parallel to the real life story of Alex Sichel who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2011. The fictional story of Anna Seashell played by Lilli Taylor, is of a woman who is able to find the glass half full when she is given the same diagnosis. The documentary follows Alex as she uses narrative film to show her journey through terminal illness as it surrounds her and her families life.
A Woman Like Me (film) Wikipedia
A Woman Like Me is a documentary about co-director Alex Siechel’s navigation through having terminal breast cancer and how it has inspired her to try and embrace death as mentioned in Buddhist philosophy. The film is composed of home videos, one on one sit downs with Alex’s family; husband, parents, sisters, doctors, and healers. Although a documentary, half of the movie shows Alex’s current film project about Anna, a woman with the same diagnosis as Alex except she looks at the glass as half full. The film within the film recounts private conversations between Alex and her husband, Alex’s dreams, and the alter-self ,Anna, who is moving forward to face her fear of death. Siechel believes that making a movie about herself living with breast cancer can help her heal and accept what is happening to her.
The documentary side of the film shows the Alex’s doctor visits, the types of medications she’s on, and the alternative medicine healing practices she does with healers and shamans. Alex’s family, although glad Alex is taking medicine from the “real” doctor’s, believe healers and the Buddhist philosophy of "going joyfully towards death" are not helpful and is just “magical thinking”. Alex later learns that the tumor has grown larger so, she takes the opportunity to go to Greece and learn more about her family’s history. The last scene of the film shows that Alex has lived another winter and is once again at the Buddhist silent retreat that she attends yearly. She mentions how her daughter’s birthday is coming up so she needs to look forward with positive thoughts.Denver Film Festival on November 12, 2015.
San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival on June 20, 2015
SXSW's Special Jury Prize for Directing