Premieres Monday, January 24, 2022 at 10:30 p.m. on KPBS TV / On Demand
Rising star of progressive politics and new father, Ady Barkan his life was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 32. But after a chance encounter with a US senator on a plane catapulted him to fame, Ady and a ragtag team of activists raced across the country, sparking a movement for universal health care in a journey that transforms her belief in what is possible for her country and her family. An inspiring and sobering story about disability, activism and family – and Ady’s fight for accessible healthcare – the documentary “Don’t Go Quietly” is led by Nicholas Bruckman (Director of “The Americana”, producer of “Valley of the Saints”) and produced by Amanda Roddy.
POV: trailer | Don’t go quietly
Called “America’s Most Powerful Activist,” Barkan’s “Be a hero” campaign landed him on Time Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people of 2020 and a speaking spot at the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Ahead of the convention, Ady interviewed candidates vying for the party’s nomination about how they would tackle the country’s ailing health care system. And while millions still don’t get the medical care they need, those fighting for Medicare for All are continually inspired by Ady’s story.
“Not Going Quietly” offers a nuanced, behind-the-scenes look at Ady’s life and work as he navigates the successes and struggles of his fight for universal healthcare while dealing with ALS. Faced with the loss of her natural voice, Ady recognizes the power of her words and personal story to spark change, remaining determined to use her platform to advocate for others. Transformed by a disease that has made it clear how much health care systems need fixing, Ady’s story is ultimately one of perseverance and hope, reveling in the possibility of change and the joy of solidarity.
Quotes from filmmakers:
“By exposing his personal struggle as a tool for social change, Ady’s vulnerability, strength and commitment deeply moved us as filmmakers. Our purpose in making this film, through Ady’s example, is to explore how personal storytelling is one of the most powerful tools to participate in our democracy and help build a more just society – a goal we share with the amazing team at POV,” said director Nicholas Bruckman and producer Amanda Roddy.
“’Not Going Quietly’ connects us with a courageous and generous protagonist who, in the hands of these talented filmmakers, becomes an active participant in telling his own story. Ady’s willingness to let us into her life, even in her most difficult times, is an act of kindness and an invitation to solidarity. Her spirit and courage are an inspiration and a reminder of our shared responsibility to care for each other.” said Chris White, Executive Producer, POV.
Recently nominated for three IDA awards, including “Best Documentary Feature” and winner of the 2021 People’s Choice Award at the SXSW Film Festival. “Not Going Quietly” also won Special Jury Recognition for Documentary Feature for Humanity in Social Action, was nominated for two Critics Choice Documentary Awards, and screened at the Tribeca Film Festival. RogerEbert.com called it “a stroke of pure inspiration.”
Following the broadcast of “Not Going Quietly”, the short film “The Meryland Team” will make its public television debut as part of the fourth season of POV Shorts. The film, directed by Gabriel Gaurano, is set in the Watts Projects where Meryland Gonzales, a twelve-year-old boxer is training to be crowned the 2019 Junior Olympic Champion. Meanwhile, her immigrant parents work tirelessly to give their child a chance to achieve his dreams. The Meryland team was an official selection at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Watch at your own pace:
“Not Going Quietly” and “Team Meryland” will be available on-demand alongside the release of the films on all of the station’s PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS video app, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.
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“Not Going Quietly” is directed by Nicholas Bruckman and produced by Amanda Roddy. The film is produced by Bradley Whitford, Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass, Sam Bisbee, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Wendy Kelman Neu, Nina Tassler, Joan Boorstein and Denise Di Novi.