Being from Athens, GA, I’ve heard of Darius more than once. My parents and friends from home have talked to me about the film, and told me last year about Darius graduating. So when I got an email yesterday asking me if I wanted to meet someone for the screening of Darius Goes West at the HBO Screening room last night, I figured I had to take her up on it, despite my headache. This won’t be the most aesthetically-inclined post you’ll read from me, but I wanted to say: you should see this film.
(I have a copy–I’ll send it to you)
Why should you see some obscure documentary made in my hometown?
Many reasons, including that it is a well-done film on the personal adventure of a boy with Muscular Dystrophy going on a journey to get MTV to “pimp his ride” and that it has a great message spread by great people. DMD, the type of Muscular Dystrophy, that Darius has, can happen to any child, effectively shortening their lifespan to about 20 years of age as the muscles degenerate until the heart stops. So the 19 year old who rolled up on stage last night and splits his time between public advocacy and rapping isn’t working for himself–but for the next generation of children. Filmed in 2005, Darius and his crew of friends rent an RV for a 3 week trip to California all the while trying to get MTV to agree to pimp his ride. Darius has so many memorable firsts: seeing the ocean, being away from his mother, going to Las Vegas.
Darius Goes West did the film festival circuit in 2007, winning 27 awards throughout the country. This year, they are trying to spread the film’s message about DMD. They have been visiting schools and meetings across the country. Darius and his crew of friends have formed a foundation, are living off the proceeds of selling t shirts, and are trying to raise money by selling 1 million DVDs this year. Find out more at http://www.dariusgoeswest.org/.