Addicted to Life, Written and directed by Pola Rapaport (2022), reviewed by David Newman

In the opening scene of the 2022 documentary Addicted to Life, about the Belgian athlete Marieke Vervoort, diagnosed with a painful degenerative spinal disease, we hear powerful defiance. Over an internet call, Vervoort, who has obtained papers to end her life via euthanasia, says to the filmmaker Pola Rapaport: "Everyone is pushing me and asking me, 'When are you going to die? Do you know already the date that you’re going to die?' I said, 'Fuck you. … You don’t know when you want to die. When the time comes, when I feel it’s enough, then I will decide'.” ... It is a powerful start to a tender and at times harrowing story of the last three years of a life and the intricate weaving of pain, extraordinary athletic accomplishment, determination, relationships and euthanasia. It’s a story that carefully explores the idea that “not only life but also death is political” (Özpolat, 2017, p. 28).

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