Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Bombardier, Jessica Bombardier
Written by: Patrick James Lynch, Steven Sander
Directed by: Patrick James Lynch
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 80
Date: 08/18/2020
IMDB

Bombardier Blood (2020)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Vein Glory

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Executive produced by SFSU alum and two-time Emmy winner Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), the aptly-titled doc Bombardier Blood tells the story of Chris Bombardier, who hopes to become the first hemophiliac to climb Mt. Everest. Less dynamic or suspenseful than something like Free Solo, Bombardier Blood is instead tender and heartfelt. It will be released digital and VOD Tuesday, August 18.

Chris is seen in Nepal visiting other hemophiliacs who lack the care that Chris himself has been able to receive. He speaks with them warmly, and later weeps about their plight. He has them all sign a flag that he hopes to plant on the top of the mountain. (He's the opposite of Free Solo's arrogant Alex Honnold.)

We also meet Chris's wife Jess. This truly lovely, supportive couple each gets misty and teary when they are separated by one of Chris's climbs. The film spends some time on the disease itself, which strikes about 1 in 10,000 humans at birth. They lack a clotting agent, called "factor," which would normally stop bleeding. A bigger issue is internal bleeding, which can affect joints and limbs, and can even be life-threatening. The heartbreaking way that the AIDS crisis of the 1980s directly affected hemophiliacs is also addressed. The final climb itself — which begins at about the halfway point of this 80-minute movie — is more like a guided tour than a nail-biting thriller, but Chris's ultimate achievements are nonetheless unexpectedly poignant.

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