With a title as cheeky as Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead you would expect this documentary by Joe Cross to be an amusing look at his personal experience, which it was. What I didn’t expect, however, was the level of heart and inspiration that also came with this film, making it one of my favorite health centred films to date.
The storyline follows Joe, a 310 lb man who suffers from an autoimmune disorder called chronic urticaria (chronic hives), on his journey across the U.S. while he undertakes a self-imposed juice fast for 60 days (I know! Seems a little crazy, right?) to see if he could lose weight, get off the pills and to reboot his health. But this isn’t your run of the mill pick-up-an-orange-juice-at-your-local-convenience-store kind of juice fast. He actually carries his juicer in the back of his vehicle and makes fresh juice from a myriad of primary coloured veggies and fruit every day.
Joe’s journey, which was occasionally illustrated with some cute cartoons, was remarkable and often amusing as he spent his time getting man on the street reactions while he talked up Americans about health, food and his juice fast. If this was where the movie ended, as one expects it would, I would have placed it in the enjoyable, yet somewhat typical category of the nutrition based films I’ve been watching as of late.
However, when he gets a call from Phil, a 429 lb truck driver he met along the way who also suffers from the same disease and wants to change his life, the show switches from good to great. Phil’s journey really steals the show.
So, if you are interested in health ideas about the power of juice, and looking to be inspired, this film won’t disappoint. Here’s a trailer:
If you live in the US, the film is also available to watch for free here.