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Saturday, 22 February 2014

About The Locked Human Spirit

Dear friends,

** This is a review I did a long time ago, on the 27th of March 2011, and published in my previous blog "Paint The Sky". But as you did not read this before, I thought I may share my thoughts with you. Pay attention to spoilers, as I shall he telling you about Awakenings **
Post-encephalitic Parkinsonism is a disease believed to be caused by a viral illness, that triggers degeneration of the nerve cells in the substantia nigra. Overall, this degeneration leads to clinical Parkinsonism and the disease is followed by encephalitis lethargica, a condition also referred as Von Economo’s encephalitis. Historically, in 1918, an epidemic of the “sleepy-disease” occurred, related to an influenza pandemic; however, even with the use of modern molecular diagnostic tests on appropriate corpses, no firm link between encephalitis lethargica with influenza has been made. The brain regions affected contain neurofibrillary tangles, similar to those seen in Alzheimer’s disease. Nevertheless, the senile plaques common in Alzheimer’s disease are not found.
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The film Awakenings (starring Robin Williams and Robert de Niro) and its respective book based on genuine cases reported by Oliver Sacks deal with sensitive and largely accurate topics relating to this disease. The state of the art in treatment remains roughly the same as it was at the time of the events depicted, the 1960s, although patients with post-encephalitic Parkinsonism lose benefit from their medication far faster than do patients with Parkinson’s disease.
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A new doctor finds himself with a ward full of comatose patients. He is disturbed by them and the fact that they have been comatose for decades with no hope of any cure. When he finds a possible chemical cure he gets permission to try it on one of them. When the first patient awakes, he is now an adult having gone into a coma in his early teens. The film then delights in the new awareness of the patients and then on the reactions of their relatives to the changes in the newly awakened. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>
Rated 7.6 out of 10 on IMDB
“Human spirit is more powerful than any drug…”
This is a movie based on a true story. The biggest awakening happened  in ’69 in a clinic in Bronx.
The movie is absolutely breathtaking and moving and the effort is considerably placed on the shoulders of both Robert de Niro and Robin Wiliams – and somehow I would tend to say that more on Robert. You can really see he studied how the persons with Parkinson act – how they move and try to express themselves and also their tics and mecanism.
I see this movie as a movie about trust and about life and how one should live it and not remain a rock. The human spirit is the only one that can be free. Your body might be crippled and you might not be able to move but still you do have the feelings and the sound and your mind that is there… waiting for the awakening…
I cannot imagine and I dare not imagine their life… not being able to speak their mind and not being able to do anything themselves, but in the same time having their minds perfectly ok… being able to hear but not to speak… being unable to share their emotions in any way…
How long can you take this and still remain a sane person? How long can you keep your spirit locked up in a cage? or is it trapped really in a cage or do they have the possibility to go elsewhere and find their peace at last?…
And then…if it is true and the human spirit is the most powerful… more powerful than a drug, than how come we cannot cure ourselfs? Do we not belive in us? Does not believing in oneself takes us further away from the cure? If we place our trust in other persons hands – the doctor, for example – does that mean that we refuse being cured? does that mean we deny ourselfs? Where does my trust go then?…
Placebo effect does show us that trust can cure. Why can we not trust ourself?…

Yours truly,
A LadyBug Who Loves Movies