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Anna's Adventure| 21mins
Director: Jessica Douglas Henry | Producer: Jessica Douglas-Henry
Focus Years: 2009 | Country: Australia
Subject Tags: australia, global, healing, health, oceania, spiritual awareness
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
At the peak of her career Dr. Anna Donald crossed the doctor-patient divide in a unique way. Diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer at the age of 37, this pioneer in evidence-based medicine took the courageous decision to share her experience of living with terminal illness. Working closely with producer/director Jessica Douglas-Henry and the Iris Pictures team, Anna began to collaborate on a cross-platform documentary that built on her highly successful blog for the British Medical Journal. Applying her forensic intelligence to examine the physical and spiritual journey she was undertaking, Anna began to keep a video diary. On a trip to Central Australia her experience of being in the bush and contemplating the immensity of the landscape caused her to reflect on her condition in a way in which she had never had done. Back in Sydney, when Anna had an unexpectedly violent reaction to a course of chemotherapy she continued to record her video diary from hospital. The dreams that Anna explored in her ongoing sessions with world-renowned dream therapist Robert Bosnak also became an essential part of the film because they were such a powerful conduit to her inner world as she grappled with the reality of living with advanced cancer. Interweaving Anna’s video diary, evocative animation of her dreams and extracts from her blogs, Anna’s Adventure is a powerful and poetic film that charts these last months of Anna’s life. The 22-minute film is designed for a general audience. Its companion piece is a practically focused website for people with advanced cancer, their families and health professionals across a range of health and social science disciplines.

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