Not Going Quietly
Since his high school debate team days, Ady Barkan has been articulate and passionate about social issues—a passion which eventually lands him an organizing job in California. Happily married and a loving father, life can’t be better. But at age 32 he is diagnosed with ALS, and, fearing rising healthcare costs in light of the proposed 2018 tax reform, Barkan heads for Washington as part of a group voicing their concerns. Frustrated after a conversation with Republican Senator Jeff Flake on the return flight goes nowhere, he embarks on the “Summer of Heroes Tour” where, as part of an equally dedicated team, he speaks at rallies, heads demonstrations at local offices of elected officials, and inspires both the public and team members in the name of healthcare reform, all the while coping with his declining physical abilities and yearning to be with his family.
Told with intimacy and sensitivity, and fueled by Barkan’s unrelenting devotion—both personal and political—in the face of a debilitating disease, Be a Hero exposes the fragile state of our healthcare system through the work and devotion of one such person who can’t help but motivate us all. —Brian Gordon
About Ady Barkan
Ady Barkan is an American lawyer and progressive activist. He is the co-founder of the Be a Hero PAC and is an organizer for the Center for Popular Democracy, where he led the Fed Up campaign. Ady came to notoriety in 2017 when he confronted Jeff Flake on a plane, asking him to “be a hero” and vote no on a tax bill. Barkan, who was diagnosed with the terminal neurogenerative disease ALS in 2016 shortly after the birth of his son, has been called “the most powerful activist in America.”
About Nicholas Bruckman
Nicholas Bruckman produced the Sundance Award-winning film VALLEY OF SAINTS, which was released on Netflix. He previously directed the feature documentary LA AMERICANA, which broadcast on National Geography and PBS. He is the founder of People’s Television, a creative studio that produces independent films and commercial content for global brands.
Director: Nicholas Bruckman
Producer: Amanda Roddy
Cinematographers: Ryder Haske, Erin Collett, Alex Pollini, Michael Dwyer, Nicholas Bruckman, Amanda Roddy
Editor: Kent Bassett
Executive Producers: Bradley Whitford, Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, Mel Eslyn, Nina Tassler , Joan Boorstein, Sam Bisbee, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Wendy Kelman Neu, Nicholas Bruckman, Ryder Haske
TRT: 139 minutes