Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist
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Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist
This documentary profiles poet/performance artist Bob Flanagan, who was born with cystic fibrosis. Flanagan explains, with engaging humor, how his obsession with controlled, self-inflicted pain has helped him to deal with his uncontrollable suffering. His philosophy forces one to look at sado-masochism with fresh eyes. The film includes explicit scenes of genital self-mutilation.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This bold, intense, and uncompromising expose of S&M takes audiences to places thay have not been before; in moments, it's tough to watch but quite rewarding at the end."
‑ Emanuel Levy, Variety
"Does a remarkable thing in presenting extreme, sometimes revolting material and simultaneously making us like and admire Flanagan."
‑ Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
"The title alone of Kirby Dick's alleged documentary Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist practically screams: "This is not your standard biopic!""
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"There's never quite been a movie like Sick, which isn't interesting enough, alas, to make its repellent and morbid episodes bearable."
‑ Joe Baltake, Sacramento Bee
"One of the funniest, most disturbing and poignant explorations of human nature ever made."
‑ Merle Bertrand, Film Threat
"Flanagan and Rose prove to be an exceptionally creative and intelligent couple who were able to turn their obsessions into art, albeit of a highly specialized kind and involving at times an overwhelmingly brutal exhibitionism."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"One of the most unlikely inspirational films ever made."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
‑ Christopher Null,
"Under the shackles, the film implies, is an unbroken human spirit triumphantly determined to not only stay alive, but actually enjoy himself while doing so."
‑ Gemma Files, eye WEEKLY
"Whatever you want to call Sick, it's anything but a piece of exploitative voyeurism, by turns sombre, hilarious, wince-inducing and inspiring."
‑ David Parkinson, Empire Magazine
"One of the most agonizing films I have ever seen."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The film is sad and funny and flat-out fascinating."
‑ Mark Robison, Reno Gazette-Journal
"It contains language and depicts sexual acts that most will find appalling and intolerable, and this fact overshadows any enticing human element the film tries to extend."
‑ Jon Alon Walz, Boxoffice Magazine
"For those willing to endure its more harrowing moments, Kirby Dick's documentary about Los Angeles artist Bob Flanagan is a touching and rewarding look at a charismatic and defiant man."
‑ Ed Kelleher, Film Journal International
"The story is uplifting, strangely enough, because Bob was able to live with the constant pain and discomforts of the disease by finding his own identity..."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews