How to Die in Oregon

A beautifully intimate look at terminally ill patients who choose to end their lives painlessly and legally.

With:
With: Cody Curtis, Roger Sagner, Randy Stroup, Nancy Niedzielski, Gordon Green, Derek Humphry.

The rare film that dares to detail the physical, emotional and philosophical challenges attendant to human mortality, Peter D. Richardson’s beautifully intimate documentary “How to Die in Oregon” uses the titular state’s Death With Dignity Act to portray terminally ill patients who choose to end their lives painlessly and legally. Aptly harrowing, but inspiring as well, the film finds an unforgettable subject in Cody Curtis, a 54-year-old woman whose liver cancer forces her to weigh life and death on ever-tipping scales. HBO’s exquisite docu, winner of Sundance’s grand jury prize, wisely favors the personal over the political, meriting impassioned responses wherever it plays.

Pic opens with aged Oregonian cancer patient Roger Sagner dying on camera after ingesting a lethal prescription dose of Seconal, then proceeds to focus on a handful of interviewed subjects, including euthanasia researcher and journalist Derek Humphry, who provides a modicum of historical context on the right-to-die movement. Silver-haired Curtis, articulate and immensely charming, earns the vast majority of screen time as well as the viewer’s total sympathy, her struggle evolving along with her disease. Richardson’s camera placement remains evocative all the way to the wrenching finale.

How to Die in Oregon

Production: An HBO Documentary Films presentation of a Peter D. Richardson production. Produced by Richardson, Jacqueline Glover. Executive producers, Sheila Nevins, Melody Korenbrot. Directed by Peter D. Richardson.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Richardson; editors, Greg Snider, Geof Bartz, Richardson; music, Max Richter; sound, Lance Limbocker; associate producers, Sophie Harris, Jordan Cumes. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (competing), Jan. 27, 2011. Running time: 107 MIN.

With: With: Cody Curtis, Roger Sagner, Randy Stroup, Nancy Niedzielski, Gordon Green, Derek Humphry.

More Film

  • Blade Runner 2049

    Oscars: 'The Last Jedi,' 'Blade Runner 2049' and More Advance in VFX Race

    The rare film that dares to detail the physical, emotional and philosophical challenges attendant to human mortality, Peter D. Richardson’s beautifully intimate documentary “How to Die in Oregon” uses the titular state’s Death With Dignity Act to portray terminally ill patients who choose to end their lives painlessly and legally. Aptly harrowing, but inspiring as […]

  • Eliza Hittman Penny Lane

    Eliza Hittman, Penny Lane Snag Rooftop Films Grants (EXCLUSIVE)

    The rare film that dares to detail the physical, emotional and philosophical challenges attendant to human mortality, Peter D. Richardson’s beautifully intimate documentary “How to Die in Oregon” uses the titular state’s Death With Dignity Act to portray terminally ill patients who choose to end their lives painlessly and legally. Aptly harrowing, but inspiring as […]

  • How Rian Johnson & 'Star Wars:

    How Rian Johnson and His 'The Last Jedi' Team Tackled the Massive Undertaking of a New 'Star Wars'

    The rare film that dares to detail the physical, emotional and philosophical challenges attendant to human mortality, Peter D. Richardson’s beautifully intimate documentary “How to Die in Oregon” uses the titular state’s Death With Dignity Act to portray terminally ill patients who choose to end their lives painlessly and legally. Aptly harrowing, but inspiring as […]

  • Ashleigh Cummings6th Annual Australians in Film

    Ashleigh Cummings Joins Warner Bros.' 'The Goldfinch' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    The rare film that dares to detail the physical, emotional and philosophical challenges attendant to human mortality, Peter D. Richardson’s beautifully intimate documentary “How to Die in Oregon” uses the titular state’s Death With Dignity Act to portray terminally ill patients who choose to end their lives painlessly and legally. Aptly harrowing, but inspiring as […]

  • Alamo Drafthouse Launching Video Rental Store

    Alamo Drafthouse Launching Video Rental Store in 2018 (EXCLUSIVE)

    The rare film that dares to detail the physical, emotional and philosophical challenges attendant to human mortality, Peter D. Richardson’s beautifully intimate documentary “How to Die in Oregon” uses the titular state’s Death With Dignity Act to portray terminally ill patients who choose to end their lives painlessly and legally. Aptly harrowing, but inspiring as […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    Box Office: Fathom Events Sees Soaring 2017 Performance (EXCLUSIVE)

    The rare film that dares to detail the physical, emotional and philosophical challenges attendant to human mortality, Peter D. Richardson’s beautifully intimate documentary “How to Die in Oregon” uses the titular state’s Death With Dignity Act to portray terminally ill patients who choose to end their lives painlessly and legally. Aptly harrowing, but inspiring as […]

  • The CastPoveri ma ricchissimi movie photocall,

    Italian Moviegoers Shrug Off Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Director Fausto Brizzi

    The rare film that dares to detail the physical, emotional and philosophical challenges attendant to human mortality, Peter D. Richardson’s beautifully intimate documentary “How to Die in Oregon” uses the titular state’s Death With Dignity Act to portray terminally ill patients who choose to end their lives painlessly and legally. Aptly harrowing, but inspiring as […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content