POV: Not Going Quietly
Premieres Monday, Jan. 24, 2022 at 10:30 p.m. on KPBS TV / On Demand
A rising star in progressive politics and a new father, Ady Barkan’s life was upended when he was diagnosed with ALS at age 32. But after a chance encounter with a U.S. Senator on an airplane catapults him to fame, Ady and a motley crew of activists barnstorm across the country, igniting a movement for universal healthcare in a journey that transforms his belief in what is possible for his country and his family. An inspiring and sobering story about disability, activism and family – and Ady’s fight for accessible healthcare – the documentary “Not Going Quietly” is directed by Nicholas Bruckman (director of “La Americana,” producer of “Valley of Saints”) and produced by Amanda Roddy.
Called the “most powerful activist in America," Barkan's “Be a Hero” campaign landed him on Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2020 and a speaking spot at the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Prior to the convention, Ady interviewed the candidates vying for the party’s nomination about how they would address the nation’s broken healthcare system. And as millions still go without the medical care they need, those fighting for Medicare for All continually draw inspiration from Ady’s story.
“Not Going Quietly” offers a nuanced look behind the scenes of Ady’s life and work as he navigates the successes and struggles of his fight for universal healthcare while dealing with ALS. Facing the loss of his natural speaking voice, Ady recognizes the power of his words and personal story to spark change, remaining committed to using his platform to advocate for others. Transformed by an illness that made strikingly clear how healthcare systems need fixing, Ady’s story is ultimately one of perseverance and hope, reveling in the possibility for change and the joy of solidarity.
"In putting his personal struggle on display as a tool for social change, Ady’s vulnerability, strength, and commitment moved us deeply as filmmakers. Our goal in making this film, through Ady’s example, is to explore how personal storytelling is one of the most powerful tools to take part in our democracy and help build a more just society – a goal we share with the incredible team at POV," said director Nicholas Bruckman and producer Amanda Roddy.
“‘Not Going Quietly’ connects us with a brave and generous protagonist who, in the hands of these gifted filmmakers, becomes an active participant in the telling of his own story. Ady’s willingness to let us into his life, even in his most challenging moments, is an act of kindness and an invitation to solidarity. His spirit and courage are an inspiration and a reminder of our shared responsibility to care for each other," said Chris White, executive producer, POV.
Recently nominated for three IDA awards including ‘Best Documentary Feature’ and the winner of the 2021 Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival. “Not Going Quietly” also won the Special Jury Recognition for Documentary Feature for Humanity in Social Action, was nominated for two Critics Choice Documentary Awards and screened at the Tribeca Film Festival. RogerEbert.com called it “a shot of pure inspiration.”
Following the broadcast of “Not Going Quietly,” the short film “Team Meryland” will make its public television broadcast debut as part of POV Shorts' fourth season. The film, directed by Gabriel Gaurano, takes place in the projects of Watts where Meryland Gonzales, a twelve-year-old female boxer trains to be crowned the 2019 Junior Olympics champion. Meanwhile, her immigrant parents work tirelessly to give their child a shot at achieving her dreams. Team Meryland was an official selection at both the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Watch On Your Schedule:
“Not Going Quietly” and “Team Meryland” will be available on demand concurrently with the films’ broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.
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“Not Going Quietly” is directed by Nicholas Bruckman and produced by Amanda Roddy. The film is executive produced by Bradley Whitford, Mark Duplass andJay Duplass, Sam Bisbee, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Wendy Kelman Neu, Nina Tassler, Joan Boorstein, and Denise Di Novi.