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Film Info
  • Year: 2019
  • Film Format: DCP, Blu-ray and DVD
  • Origin: USA
  • Runtime: 114 mins
  • Color
  • Language: English

A month after receiving a fatal diagnosis in January 2015, Oliver Sacks sat down for a series of filmed interviews in his apartment in New York City. For eighty hours, surrounded by family, friends, and notebooks from six decades of thinking and writing about the brain, he talked about his life and work, his abiding sense of wonder at the natural world, and the place of human beings within it. Drawing on these deeply personal reflections, as well as nearly two dozen interviews with close friends, family members, colleagues and patients, and archival material from every point in his life, this film is the story of a beloved doctor and writer who redefined our understanding of the brain and mind.

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life is a Zeitgeist Films release in association with Kino Lorber. It will open in theaters starting May 5. To book this film please contact Nancy Gerstman or Emily Russo.

Poster is not final. Photo by Bill Hayes.

Ric Burns

Ric Burns is a documentary filmmaker and writer, best known for his eight-part, 17-hour series New York: A Documentary Film, which premiered nationally on PBS to critical acclaim (1999, 2001, 2003). Burns has been writing, directing and producing historical documentaries for over 25 years, since his collaboration on the PBS series The Civil War (1990), which he produced with his brother Ken and co-wrote with Geoffrey Ward. Since founding Steeplechase in 1989, he has directed many films of note for PBS including Coney Island (1991), The Donner Party (1992), The Way West (1995), Ansel Adams (2002), Eugene O’Neill, Andy Warhol (2006), Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World (2010), Death and the Civil War (2013), American Ballet Theatre: A History (2015), Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History (2015), The Pilgrims (2015), VA: The Human Cost of War (2017), and The Chinese Exclusion Act (2018). His work has won numerous film and television awards including six Emmy awards, three Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Journalism awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards, two Organization of American Historians’ Erick Barnouw prizes, three Writers Guild of America Awards for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Writing, and the D.W. Griffith Award of the National Board of Review. Burns was educated at Columbia University and Cambridge University. He lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.



Venue City State Date
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Atlanta GA February 18, 19, 22, 2020
San Francisco Jewish Winterfest San Francisco CA February 19-March 1, 2020
Bozeman Doc Series Bozeman MT March 5, 2020 Only!
Film Streams Omaha NE March 24, 2020
Hopewell Theater Hopewell NJ April 21, 2020
University of Colorado/International Film Series Boulder CO April 30, 2020
QDoc Film Festival Protland OR April 30 - May 3, 2020
Film Forum New York NY May 6-19, 2020
Jacob Burns Film Center Pleasantville NY May 26, 2020
Port Jefferson Documentary Series East Setauket NY June 8th, 2020 Only!