For Love & Life: No Ordinary Campaign (2023)

For Love & Life: No Ordinary Campaign (2023)

An inspiring look at one couple’s quest to give ALS the attention and funding it deserves

7.1

Movie

United States of America
English
Documentary
2023
CHRIS BURKE
83 min

TLDR

It doesn’t reinvent the wheel of documentary storytelling, but it manages to balance science with sentiment to evoke genuine inspiration

What it's about

When former Obama White House staffer Brian Wallach was diagnosed with ALS at 37, he and his wife Sandra Abrevaya launched a patient-led movement to increase the funding for researching this incurable disease. The documentary follows their journey as they take their fight to the federal level.

The take

For Love & Life could have easily been a generic documentary about ALS, but Wallach and Abrevaya elevate the film with their confidence and charm. With help from friend and director Christopher Burke, they manage to make something innately dreadful not just watchable, but engaging and uplifting as well. There's also something to be said about how they offset with science and politics so that the film is an anti-sob story of sorts, filled as it is with so much research, action, hope, and grit. This isn’t to say that it doesn't get misty-eyed (in fact, I think it could’ve eased up on the use of inspirational pop songs), but it is expertly balanced in a way that's sure to draw in more viewers and, hopefully, advocates for the cause.

What stands out

It’s hard to imagine both the film and the movement working the way they do without Wallach. He’s such a powerful speaker that, under different circumstances, one could see him running for office someday.

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