By Joe Cross
I am proud to announce that Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2 is now available worldwide.
There’s not one word that describes the ups and downs of making a full-length feature documentary film. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2 has taken just over 18 months, from 200 hours of footage and a massive team effort, to bring together. Usually, if you ask a filmmaker, they will tell you that the big relief comes after the film has been released. And I would have to agree with that. However, in this instance I think there is one person that is more relieved about the premier last night, and that is the star of our 2011 film Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, Phil Staples.
You may remember Phil as the truck driver that I met while I was traveling from the east coast to the west coast in the U.S. I’ve often said publicly that with respect to my journey, nobody really cares about a rich white guy taking pills. But when somebody who is just trying to scrape by, effectively living in the back of his truck, can turn his life around and affect change, well that’s something.
Documentary filmmaking is about transparency, honesty, and integrity. If you cross or break these principles you will not only let the audience down but you are letting down the countless number of people who worked so hard to bring the film to life. When we started filming Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2 I was under the impression that my good mate, Phil Staples, was continuing to be a success story in his own eyes. When you read his personal account on MindBodyGreen, you will learn what I learned — the truth of his actual circumstances.
It didn’t take long for feelings of compassion and sadness to replace disappointment. It also became obvious after a very frank and honest conversation between the two of us, that when Phil was connected, he thrived, and when he was disconnected, he sank. This disconnection is not only unique to Phil, millions of people around the world feel more alone and more disconnected than ever. And for a vast majority of these people, placing their health as a number one priority, is nowhere near on their radar. And so what begins is a vicious cycle of self-loathing and depression, and in many cases finding friendship and connection in processed food. I for one, have spoken publicly about my own connection to sugar when I was bullied in the playground. I had no friends, but sugar wouldn’t let me down.
So if you have a moment and you’re interested in hearing from Phil, and his side of the story, and what it’s like to be the poster boy of success and deal with what he’s gone through, take a read at his letter. I’m extremely proud of his courage to share his journey with you. Phil has inspired thousands, if not millions of people. And as I said to him just the other day, now it’s time for this community to inspire him. I’d appreciate it if you could drop him your best wishes in the comments below.
Read Phil’s story in his own words.