The Possibilities are Endless is a beautiful artistic documentary about musician and singer Edwyn Collins’ ongoing recovery from two major strokes.
To nick the film’s publicity blurb, it is ‘a hymn to happiness, directed, gorgeously, by Ed Lovelace and James Hall about Edwyn. About finding his way back to music, to life, to understanding’.
And it does look and sound gorgeous (Edwyn wrote the soundtrack without seeing the film).
We saw him at the UK premiere at the London Film Festival earlier this week (sounds posh, you just buy tickets). His great wit and sense of mischief were certainly there, but his problems with walking and talking demonstrate the damage a cerebral haemorrhage can do.
As the lead singer of Orange Juice from the late 70s, he had some big hits – Rip it Up being the biggest – and then a successful solo career. And he was a live wire, full of charisma but loveable and intelligent with it – when I say ‘was’ I mean still is, it just isn’t so obvious.
He has aphasia – damaged speech due to a damaged brain – though more than 10 years of effort on his part has brought him from his first waking phrases, which were ‘Grace Maxwell’ (his wife’s name) and ‘the possibilities are endless’ (which his wonderful wife pointed out is a lot less profound when someone says it 80 times a day).
About 152,000 people have a stroke every year in the UK, and this film shows the consequences. And Grace made it clear that they were more fortunate than many people affected by it.
It made me think, there’s a whole load of people out there who might be dismissed as drunk or a bit ‘odd’ for the way they walk or speak or fail to remember. A whole load of people who are working hard to keep going, and to get as better as they can.
Please watch and share – it is more than your usual documentary.
Though Edwyn (and Grace) made it clear he didn’t want to be a poster boy for any charity, he did mention one that he supported – which of course I can’t remember!
(I’ve tweeted asking for the name – I’ll add it if I find out!)
And for full details about stroke, see The Stroke Association