The Event

Institute History

  • 2003 Sundance Film Festival


The terrific ensemble cast of indie veterans in The Event work in sync to maximize the impact of this highly moving film. Director Thom Fitzgerald is firmly at the helm, guiding an intricate interwoven patchwork of relationships, friendships and family ties that unfold with sharp insight and dramatic flair.

The Event is driven both emotionally and politically by two opposing truths. Truth No. 1: Matt wants to die; his AIDS cocktail no longer works, his health is failing fast, and he wants to leave this earth with his friends and family around him. Truth No. 2: Choosing to die is illegal; Nick, a district attorney investigating the most recent series of unexplained deaths in the Chelsea district of Manhattan, is pushing hard to get to the bottom of apparent suicides by those with AIDS.

As with Nick's investigation, The Event raises as many questions as it answers. What is the responsibility of those left behind when a terminally ill person takes his or her own life? What good are laws and bureaucracy that don't serve us? Fitzgerald's response is to lay it bare and let all voices be heard, leaving us to find it in the anger and discover it in the tears. The Event works on all levels, but none greater than the depth of emotion this beautifully rendered piece evokes about a man and the people who love him enough to help him die.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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