Sundance 2017: It's Not Yet Dark
It’s Not Yet Dark is a heartfelt portrait of Simon Fitzmaurice, and the struggle and perseverance he and his loved ones endure while they battle his diagnosis of MND (motor neurone disease). This personal chronicle looks at Simon’s early life, marriage, starting a family, and his professional calling. Since Fitzmaurice lost his voice due to the illness, the bulk of the documentary is narrated by Colin Farrell.
Simon’s trials and recollections have a narrative accentuation that enliven the experience, as a storyteller that comes as no surprise. His natural proclivity toward dramatic emphasis which is what gives this documentary of human triumph its momentum.
There’s a plethora to divulge in the life of Simon Fitzmaurice, and as evidenced by his apparent affection for cinema, the role it plays in his life and career. It’s Not Yet Dark is at it’s strongest when we see and hear Fitzmaurice’s passion for his craft as a writer and director. While the basic connectivity of his family's presence in the documentary provides a sturdy foundation, our relationship to Simon Fitzmaurice is through his life and work in film, and articulating his passion for his career as a writer and director is something that would have benefited this experience.
The impression I gathered is that the story of Simon Fitzmaurice is far from over, and realizing his feature debut My Name is Emily (as well as his book appropriately titled It’s Not Yet Dark) is hopefully the genesis of another chapter in a blessed life.
As is the case with many documentaries such as these, it left me wanting more; however, the duality of that complaint stems from a successful ability to engage an audience and elicit an emotional response, which can’t be that bad of a thing after all. All things considered, I think It’s Not Yet Dark would best be served as a companion to My Name is Emily, a film I’ll be actively searching for thanks as a result of this title.