Anna's Adventure| 21mins
Director: Jessica Douglas Henry | Producer: Jessica Douglas-Henry
Focus Years: 2009 | Country: Australia
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 Annaâ€™s video diary, evocative animation of her dreams and extracts
from her blogs, Annaâ€™s Adventure is a powerful and poetic film that charts these
last months of Annaâ€™s life.
The 22-minute film is designed for a general audience. Its companion piece
annasadventure.com is a practically focused website for people with advanced
cancer, their families and health professionals across a range of health and
social science disciplines.