Breathing Lessons: A Review

A Review of Breathing Lessons, an early film about The Sessions' Mark O'Brien by Mike Reynolds The first time I heard of Mark O’Brien was in February 1997, when I was in college. I was writing for my campus newspaper and trying to organize a disability-awareness week when I saw a press release about the film Breathing Lessons, a documentary about O’Brien's life by a young filmmaker named Jessica Yu. The film had been nominated for an Oscar for best short-form documentary. After watching this amazing movie, I contacted Yu (who was incredibly helpful) and arranged for a screening on campus. I was also lucky enough to speak directly with O’Brien by phone. In March of that year, Breathing Lessons won the Oscar. One of the most memorable sound bites from the Oscars of that year was Yu’s quip about which had cost more, the film or her dress for the Oscars. Below is an edited version of my review, which was originally published in The Maine Campus on February 26, 1997. Breathing Lessons can currently be watched free of charge at snagfilms.com***. ***Editor's Note: Regrettably, Snagfilms is no longer in operation, and I was unable to find anywhere to stream it freel