Critic Reviews



Based on 15 critic reviews provided by
If you see only one movie this year about a twisted, cuddly, courageous, fatally diseased, self-mutilating love slave, make sure that movie is Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist.
The film's greatest achievement is transforming his supposed acts of deviancy into disease-of-the-week uplift, not to mention a moving love story, an irreverent black comedy, and an intellectually compelling study of an artist at work.
Undoubtedly the most wildly original and audacious documentary in this year's Sundance Film Festival, Kirby Dick's Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist is an uncompromising chronicle of the flamboyant poet and performance artist who died in 1996.
The driving forces behind Dick's courageous, defiantly candid film are curiosity about all things human and a desire to explain the seemingly inexplicable.
What makes Sick bearable is the saving grace of humor. Apart from the pain he was born with and the pain he heaped on top of it, Bob Flanagan was a wry, witty, funny man who saw the irony of his own situation.
An enlightening experience that explains what cystic fibrosis as well as why someone wracked with pain from it might want to hurt themselves.
Sick does a remarkable thing in presenting extreme, sometimes revolting material and simultaneously making us like and admire Flanagan.
Slant Magazine
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!
Funny, eye-opening and ultimately very moving portrait by director Kirby Dick.
Boston Globe
Those who can endure it will find Kirby Dick's film provocative and surprisingly touching. [14 Nov 1997, p.D11]

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