Within the past few years ALS (also known as Louh Gehrig’s disease) has been brought to attention with events like the ever so popular “Ice Bucket Challenge” that drew participants together to donate to the disease. At The Newport Beach Film Festival this year, German film, “A Heavy Heart”, directed by Thomas Stuber premiered following a former German boxing champion as he gets diagnosed with the fatal disease.
“A Heavy Heart” began with suspicious activity from the former boxing champion, Herbert as he not only beat up a man, but reported back to someone about financial situations of the person he assaulted. From then, the scene changes to Herbert training a young man in the boxing ring and preparing him for his upcoming fights.
An unfortunate loss for his boxing student led to a frustrated coach who later collapsed in the shower after dealing with the loss of the fight. Too stubborn to go to the doctor, Herbert continued living as if nothing was wrong despite constantly shaking no matter what he did. Eventually he goes to see a doctor which is how he learns about ALS and realizes that he does not have long to live.
Secluding himself, Herbert lets only a girlfriend come see him and avoids others after they rejected him knowing his condition. In order to patch things up before he dies, he visits his estranged daughter, Sandra who initially wants nothing to do with him, but after a while lets him meet his granddaughter after realizing the condition he is in.
As Herbert’s disease takes over his body and he gets worse, he becomes even more secluded before only wanting to see his daughter and granddaughter but pushes others away. He eventually lets his old friend come in to see him which was more than heartbreaking as his friend had not seen him since he was healthier in the beginning of the movie.
“A Heavy Heart” brought tears, laughter and a unique look on life as it makes one think about how short life truly is and how it can all change within the blink of an eye.