Welcome, visitor!   Register   Login

Post an Ad
Menu Post an Ad

Film Review: When I Walk

    Film Festival, News & Events    February 25, 2014

The following article was written by Marianne Grittani as part of a series of articles about filmmakers coming to the Salt Spring Film Festival on Feb 28-Mar 2. Jason DaSilva’s mother Marianne D’Souza and brother Leigh DaSilva (also director/producer of the film) will be on hand to lead a discussion following the film.

Jason Da Silva / When I Walk

Director Jason DaSilva has been a prolific filmmaker since 1996, travelling the world making documentary films. He has directed 4 short films Olivia’s Puzzle, A Song For Daniel, Twins of Mankala and First Steps. He’s also made two feature length films, Lest We Forget and When I Walk. Olivia’s Puzzle premiered at the 2003 Sundance Festival and qualified for an Academy Award. Three of his films have had national broadcasts on PBS, HBO and CBC. He also produced Shocking and Awful, a film installation on the anti-Iraq war movement, exhibited at the 2006 Whitney Biennial. Each one of these works advanced Jason’s objective to give voice to those on the periphery of society.

In 2006, Jason took a break from filmmaking to earn his MFA degree in Applied Media Arts at Emily Carr University. He recently produced and directed an Op-Doc (opinion documentary) for the New York Times called The Long Wait, published in January 2013. When I Walk was an Official Selection at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and won Best Canadian Feature at Hot Docs 2013.

Jason was well on his way pursuing his filmmaking goals when his life changed, and changed drastically, a few years ago when he was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. All too suddenly, he now had to face that he couldn’t even brush his teeth without help. Turning the camera on himself, he documents a seven-year struggle with a disease that has no cure and a world filled with increasing obstacles.

It all started on a family vacation. In 2006, the 25-year-old, vital, handsome, talented DaSilva was on a beach with his family when, suddenly, he fell down and couldn’t get back up. Doctors told him he had multiple sclerosis, and it could lead to loss of vision and muscle control, as well as a myriad of other problems. Even though he exercised more and did everything he could to try to keep his muscles strong, the problem got worse. And it got worse very quickly. Jason’s mother Marianne reminded him that he was a fortunate privileged North American kid who had the opportunity to pursue the things he loved most—art and filmmaking. So Jason picked up the camera and began filming the difficult decline of his body and the miracles he encountered along the way.
He applied for and got a film grant and set off to India in search of something that could make him better. His time there, as well as all the aspects of his journey, is documented in When I Walk.

The result is a very personal, ambitious and genuine view of a life that takes nothing for granted. Not only are Da Silva’s daily challenges recorded, he shows his physical struggle with trying to construct this documentary. Nothing is kept hidden. The film is an emotional and inspirational documentary whose creative engine is its young filmmaker’s determination to live and his ability to make sense of being plagued by a devastating disease through the art of cinematic storytelling.

“The work I do, this app (AXS Map, a crowdsourcing platform that allows people around the world to rate businesses for accessibility) and the film, is about changing the face of disability. The civil rights movement, the gay and lesbian movement, even the feminist movement all gained traction. But for some reason, the disability movement kind of slowed down,” says DaSilva. “I’m trying to find a way to bring it back.”

He currently lives and works in Brooklyn New York. His mother Marianne D’Souza and his brother Leigh Da Silva will be in attendance at the SS Film Festival.

Comments May Not Be Seen by the Author

No Tags


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Community News

  • Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation ...

    by on August 21, 2019

    Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) has released the Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation 2019-2029 Strategic Plan. The Plan outlines strategies, actions and priorities that guide opportunities for parks and recreation, seek community and stakeholder input and explore the long-term program and facility needs for the community. The following strategic priorities have […]

  • Trust to Put Brakes on Fulford Inn ̵...

    by on August 20, 2019

    As many of you know, our proposal is a Development Permit with Variances. We propose to amend the motel, liquor store, and pub uses under the existing zoning into a modern, vibrant village square that offers an immersive Saltspring experience to visitors, while providing an essential gathering place for South Island residents, an essential community […]

  • Maracaibo Vessel Fire

    by on August 8, 2019

    Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue responded to a boat fire off Maracaibo on Salt Spring Island on August 7th, 2019. The initial call came in at 17:38 and crews completed the scene at 01:15 10 Firefighters responded with 4 fire trucks along with assistance from the Canadian Coast Guard and Eagle Eye Vessel Assist. On […]

  • Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 201...

    by on August 6, 2019

    Vision: A responsive and sustainable fire-rescue service, effectively meeting community needs and valued by those we serve. Mission: Always learning, engaging and adapting to be response ready. Response Report Salt Spring Island Firefighters responded to 58 calls the month of June.   Operations We experienced a very dry June with below-normal precipitation.  Over the month […]

  • Thoughts on My Trial, Part 3: Sentencing...

    by on July 31, 2019

    On July 26th, the judge sentenced me to carry on with my volunteer work on Salt Spring — no fine, no probation officer, no jail. For six months, I’m to “keep the peace and be of good behaviour.” Apparently, this is the most lenient sentence he’s given to date for the 230+ convicted of contempt […]

  • Edit the Garden, August Planting

    by on July 30, 2019

    If your tomatoes are slow to ripen, you are not alone! Many people are wondering about it, but this cooler summer is the way our ‘normal’ summers used to be: for those that have forgotten how long it used to take tomatoes to ripen outdoors, this is a reminder. On the other hand, many other […]

  • Podcast: An Environmental Organization t...

    by on July 22, 2019

    Have you ever wondered who was behind the Electric Vehicle Recharge Stations, Car Stops, Eco Home Tours, solar panels on the high school’s roof, Rainbow Road Gardens on Salt Spring Island on the island? In this episode, I’m talking with an organization that is helping communities with reducing their dependence on fossil fuels & increasing […]

  • Salt Spring National Art Prize Announces...

    by on July 18, 2019

    Five Salt Spring artists have been named as finalists for the Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP). They are among the fifty or so artists from across Canada to have their work eligible to win one of nine awards, six selected by jurors and three selected by public vote. Local artists are also in the […]

  • Notice to Bus Riders – Detours on ...

    by on July 18, 2019

    Effective July 22 to August 30, 2019 – Please be advised that Walker’s Hook Road will be closed for repairs between Fort Street and Hedger Road beginning July 22 until August 30, 2019. This closure will be in effect 24 hours a day during these dates. During this time period please note that routes 5 Fernwood and 6 […]

  • Podcast: The Tiny Home on Wheel’s ...

    by on July 8, 2019

    I’m on the Salt Spring Gulf Island Community Radio interviewing people near and far who are making good news on the planet by helping to shift the outcome of our future. These people and companies have created solutions to local and global issues we’re facing at the moment. Sharing the good news that’s happening on […]

  • Carrot Day

    by on July 5, 2019

    It is time for my annual reminder to sow lots of carrots for winter harvests in the next week or two. For me, July 1 is always Carrot Day as well as Canada Day (US readers: think 4th of July). As long as you sow before July 10, your carrots should have time to grow […]

Pin It on Pinterest