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Films About Stroke Victims, including The Lovely Patient



The Straight Story, Dave (1993), Gods and Monsters, and perhaps most famously The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, are films with one thing in common: the plot revolves around a character who has suffered a stroke.  Today is the start of the International Stroke Conference, and marks the world’s largest gathering dealing with the disease. While not many feature films have focused in the subject, they are occasionally highlighted as in the upcoming film The Lovely Patient.


A stroke is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, which causes the brain cells to die. The severity of the stroke depends on how long your brain goes without oxygen. After only four minutes, the brain starts to become permanently damaged, after fifteen recovery is nearly impossible to recover. Some people have mild or severe strokes that may occur only once or repeatedly. According to the CDC, on average one American dies from a stroke every four minutes, which makes it the fourth most common way to die in the United States. Surviving a stroke can mean a lifetime of disability and pain. Some patients do recover, if their symptoms are caught early and treated, and there are three key ways to spot if you or a loved one is on the verge of having a stroke.

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The Lovely Patient is a film about a young man, Leonard, struggling to take care of his mother who has survived a stroke. Leonard is an aspiring filmmaker, and when he loses his janitorial job he has to scramble to find another one to continue the treatments for his mother. He finds work as a gopher at a recovery clinic for breast cancer patients, and works as a driver for Frank, a male breast cancer patient at the clinic. Together, they face hurdles life throws at them and discover the importance of forgiveness and love. This film shows the reality of what happens after the diagnosis and how they live day to day with these diseases. The Lovely Patient, distributed by World Wide Motion Pictures, is now available for presale and will be released on DVD on February 17th.