“I have a God,” proclaims Jack Kevorkian, “his name is Bach. Johann Sebastian Bach.”
On one hand, HBO’s You Don’t Know Jack strenuously attempts to be impartial when making statements about euthanasia, but at the same time, the movie accepts the fact that most biopic lean on sympathizing with the main character. It gleefully tries to locate a comfortable stride about a topic that is…well, really uncomfortable to discuss. Merely the mention of Dr. Jack Kevorkian will spark an instant debate, and most will have already formed an opinion of the man, not considering the nuggets of intriguing information that are divulged in this commendably pedestrian effort.
After assisting 130 patients exercise their right to die and serving an almost 9 year jail sentence, we finally get to see Jack Kevorkian as more than just “Dr.Death,” eloquently portrayed in this almost two hour glimpse of Kevorkian’s life- from his first patients, to his personal relationships and his strong-willed fight to make dying not a crime, “You Don’t Know Jack” never flatlines.
The movie takes us into the bigger picture of Kevorkian’s life beyond the headlines, jail and act of physician-assisted suicide that he became famous for. We see a man who sought out humanity, who believed in a bigger cause, a better quality of life for society, contrary to popular belief.
“When a law is deemed immoral by you, you must disobey it,” Kevorkian says.
“You Don’t Know Jack” gives viewers a chance to see Kevorkian’s conviction for the right to die and his legal conviction as a result of it. In the end, the film succeeds in defeating its own title – you are bound to walk away understanding, or at least knowing more about the doctor behind death.
I will not be sharing my stand on the topic but I sure do believe that religious dogma is the one that hampers society enlightenment in real sense, as was with Galileo, da Vinci and many others and will be for many others to come.
Great piece of work by Al Pacino and in my view only he could have pulled it off the way it should have been.