Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

A Finished Life : The Goodbye & No Regrets Tour


Gregg Cour is a 48 year old  gay man with AIDS who, after being HIV+ for half of his life has decided that he simply does not want to start yet a new regime of different medications. As he explains, after a while the body comes immune to drugs taken continually and hence the need to change to the next regime of treatments.  Never having got any opportunistic diseases in all this time it is not the virus that has made Gregg sicker and greatly decreased the quality of his life but all the toxic side affects of all the different medications.

Once off all the drugs his Doctors tell him he has approx. six months left to live, and so he gives away all his belongings, and buys an RV and with his dog Cody travels across the United States to say goodbye to all his friends and family.  And then if there is any time left he will take his dream trip of going to see London and Ireland.  Greg called this ‘The Good-Bye and No Regrets Tour’.

This highly emotionally charged journey makes for a powerful impassioned documentary that leaves one feeling totally helpless as this courageous and articulate man finds the strength to not just deal with his own feelings but also with more confused ones of all the people he is taking leave off.  There are times when Gregg is remarkably upbeat about what he considers is simply bringing his life to an earlier close than normal as he plans to do once the tour is over. On other occasions however, he shows that even someone as determined as him, can have regrets.
This movie, by no means a superb piece of filming by newbie filmmakers Barbara Greene and Michelle Boyaner drains you completely, and unavoidably reminds you of the times when you have had to deal with death and grief at such close quarters.  There is no attempt to either edit Greg’s story or to pass any moral judgment on his choices which is how it should be.  He had no desire to suffer a long painful death from a progressing illness that would have taken away his independence and given him no real quality of life at all. The fact that he had the courage to allow the filmmakers unlimited access to document this all, has created a fitting legacy for one very brave man.
Not an easy one to view and half way through I was questioning why I should be so masochistic and even choose to watch this in the first place! But I am so pleased that I did, painful as it was, and to stick right to the inevitable ending.

Posted by queerguru  at  10:51


Genres:  documentary

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