Mr Parkinson is the story of a happy man who looses the life he took for granted. Filmmaker Stefan Berg is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease the 6th of April 2015. How do you handle life when understanding that you will be stuck in a wheelchair in 10 years time? A couple of weeks after the diagnose Stefan picks up his camera to share the biggest challenge of his life.
During the summer Mr Parkinson suffers from periods of deep depression and fatigue. He doesn’t want to be social and is irritated, which makes his family suffer, especially his youngest son who wants to be close. But slowly the medicine gets calibrated. Mr Parkinson becomes Stefan again and enjoys vacation at the country house. One morning by the kitchen table he notices a change. Mr Parkinson is back.
Stefan throws himself into fierce activity. Besides the family he has two passions: playing the drums and fly-fishing. Both of them are affected by the shaking leg and clumsy hand, but he is determined not to let this stop him. Carpe Diem, life is now. Stefan buys a new set of drums and starts to develop a new method, which allows him to use the trembling of his right foot. He practises for hours and hours. Playing at a bar with his band he manages to perform better then he has done in years. At the same time his film premiers. Standing ovations.
At the hospital. The doctor tells Stefan that the medicine will cease to work at some point and that he probably will end up in a wheel chair in 10 years time. Facing this reality Stefan has to look deep inside. What is most important to him in life?
Mr Parkinson is a film about what happens to a person when diagnosed, mentally and physically. How the identity changes from being built on several things – such as being a father, a filmmaker, a drummer – to being the disease. But more important, it is a film about the struggle to regain your identity. How to become a person with a diagnose instead of being defined by it. In a grander perspective, it´s a film about life and priorities. Getting a diagnose crushes the illusion of control that most of us live by. This creates fear and turbulence but there also a gift: To actually understand what’s important in life and have a chance to act on it.
Title: Mr Parkinson
Director: Stefan Berg
Producer: Anna J Ljungmark
Outreach: Anna J Ljungmark
Platforms:TV, cinema, partner collaborations, web series
Partners: SVT, Film i Skåne