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SICK: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

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SICK: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist is a 1997 documentary about Bob Flanagan, an American writer, poet, performance artist, comic, and BDSM practitioner, who suffered and later died of cystic fibrosis. The film was directed by Kirby Dick and edited by Dody Dorn.

The film shows how Flanagan inflicted pain on himself through BDSM as an attempt to take control of the pain caused by his disease. Through private moments captured on camera, his performances, and direct conversations with Flanagan himself, the viewer learns of his painful fight against his affliction, the creative and disturbing things he does to his ailing body, and the importance of his long-term relationship with his dominatrix/partner Sheree Rose.


  • "Flanagan and Rose prove to be an exceptionally creative and intelligent couple who were able to turn their obsessions into art, albeit of a highly specialized kind and involving at times an overwhelmingly brutal exhibitionism." [1]
  • "``Sick`` does a remarkable thing in presenting extreme, sometimes revolting material and simultaneously making us like and admire Flanagan. True, he was a madman and exhibitionist; but he was also a gifted writer who was committed to taking risks, confronting death and living life on his own terms." [2]
  • "There are scenes in ``Sick`` that forced me to look away. But the scenes I did watch were, if anything, more painful. At the end, as Bob fights for breath and Sheree weeps and cares for him, what we are seeing is a couple who had something, however bizarre, that gave them the roles they preferred, and mutual reassurance. Now death is taking it all away." [3]


  • 1998
    • Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards
      • Sierra Award (Best Documentary)

References Edit

  1. Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
  2. Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle, November 7 1997, Page C - 14 , online
  3. Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, December 5th 1997, online

External links Edit

Template:Bio-documentary-stubde:SICK: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

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