Life According to Sam

The clock is ticking for all of us, but it is ticking faster for Sam Bern. Sam has progeria, an extremely rare age-accelerating disease. When we first meet Sam, he is 13 years old but looks 70. He is a precocious middle school student interested in music and sports, though his ability to participate is limited by his fragile body. Fortunately, Sam’s parents are both doctors. His mom, Dr. Leslie Gordon, is a genetic researcher and is on a crusade to get approval of a drug that will extend Sam’s life as well as those of other children with the disease beyond the average life expectancy of 13–14 years. It is a race against time for Gordon to get her drug trial results published in a reputable medical journal. Sam talks about his mortality but does so with a lack of anger or self pity. Yet like any teenager he has goals for himself, the most pressing of which is to play drums in his high school marching band. Academy Award–winning directors Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine have created an emotionally uplifting chronicle of determination and optimism in the face of terrible odds with Sam being one of the most inspirational documentary subjects in recent memory.
Release Year
Festival Year(s)
Running Time