Director discusses Michael J. Fox documentary, portrayal of actor's life, Parkinson's diagnosis

'STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie' debuts at the Doc10 Film Festival Thursday night

Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Michael J. Fox documentary explores star's life, Parkinson's diagnosis
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"STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie" is the opening night feature for Chicago's Doc10 Film Festival at the Davis Theatre in Lincoln Square.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's acclaimed Doc10 Film Festival kicks off Thursday night at the Davis Theater in Logan Square. "STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie" Is the opening night feature.

Oscar-winning director Davis Guggenheim spoke to ABC 7 about the film's saga of a struggling star who won't give up.

Michael J. Fox in his latest film is a lot different than the dynamic young actor with a thriving career.

Fox allowed Guggenheim to show much of his life in the new film.

"Michael was totally an open book," Guggenheim said. "I've never encountered something where it was so open and easy. He trusted me, and it was beautiful."

Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at just 29 years old, Fox turns 62 next month.

"I think one of the things a film like this battles is this idea of someone who has a handicap is pitied, and I don't think he ever wants to be pitied," Guggenheim said. "He's got this chronic diagnosis which challenges him every day. He has these terrible falls, but he has this attitude that's so infectious."

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The film features reviews from film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert that help chart the course of Fox's career.

"Chaz Ebert was really helpful," Guggenheim said. "I was looking for those reviews and I couldn't find them and she said, let me help you, she went into the archives and pulled it out.

The director is inviting Chicagoans to come see the film with an open mind.

"You think, 'oh this is a movie about a movie star,' or 'this is a movie about someone with a handicap and they're going to overcome it and be noble'... no, it's very different," Guggenheim said. "I would say, you think you know what this movie's about, and just be ready to be surprised."

"STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie" can be seen at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Davis Theater. The film will open the Doc10 Film Festival, and Guggenheim will be there to answer questions.