Home About Philip Simmons Rattlesnake Ridge

The Man Who Learned to Fall is a feature documentary about a gifted writer and teacher who celebrates the wonder of life even as he is slowly dying of ALS. As his body becomes increasingly paralyzed, Phil Simmons continues to "wrestle joy from heartbreak" - again and again and again - at each stage of his ongoing losses. Filmed in the foothills of the White Mountains, this intimate portrait of Phil and his family captures the witty eloquence and poetic grace of a dying man and his heroic journey.

"The Man Who Learned to Fall... is a beautiful film... (it) is neither sad nor maudlin. It is an awesome story about an inspirational person, a light shone into the dark place that is our mortality."

-Susan Schwartz, Montreal Gazette

This documentary by Canadian filmmaker Garry Beitel, has been underway since 2001. Produced by Beitel and partner Barry Lazar, the 77 minute film documents the last 12 months of Philip Simmons's life. In the fall of 2004 it debuted in Montreal to an audience of 800 medical professionals who found it profound, alternating moving and amusing, insightful and filled with Phil's unique grace.
To use any printed information, contact Kathryn Field at kathrynfieldfineart@gmail.com