"Five Feet Apart"
Last night I had the opportunity to see a screening of FIVE FEET APART! For anyone who doesn’t know what that is, it’s a movie about cystic fibrosis. Yes, a movie about CF on the big screen. Surprisingly it’s a fairly accurate representation of CF. I definitely had many thoughts before seeing this movie because I had read the book and seen the trailers. I kept an open mind and was hopeful that Justin Baldoni, the director of the movie, would do a good job with It. Obviously any movie isn’t going to be 100% correct on some stuff, and a lot of the things that CFers grew up doing and currently do in the hospital is slightly different. Hollywood and movie directors have creative freedom to embellish anything they want from what actually is accurate or not. They also add some corny stuff to make it relatable for a more Hollywood-esk script. This movie is also a romance so they’re going to feed into it because people can relate and love sells to a certain demographic.
Overall I liked the movie but I’m half and half. I’ve obviously had some issues with several parts and ideas but honestly any movie whether its about CF, cancer, diabetes what have you, is never going to be 100% accurate. No two people are going to have the same exact outcome or situations so some people will think, "no that’s stupid,” and others will be like, “yes exactly!” Like I said, it’s relatable, and as for some of the scenes I’ve had exact or similar issues. For example, being stuck in the hospital for weeks at a time, nebulizer treatments, chest physical therapy, and pills are my life. Missing out on life because I’m stuck in the hospital. The “what if” thoughts and end stage disease.
For anyone living with CF or for those who know a CF patient, then this movie is going to hit close to home and might cause you to shed some tears, so... bring tissues. I’m not normally a cryer,but this movie is very relatable because I do indeed have CF, so yes I definitely did tear up at many scenes and cried for some.. being on prednisone doesn’t help either. “I’m not crying you’re crying!” My brother who had also gone with me to see it had said after that the movie was heavy. Yes, some of the movie was in fact emotionally intense but also it uplifted viewers with comical parts, which I think helped even out the mood of the movie.
On the other hand, this movie is already causing an uproar of disapproval in the CF community, so much so that there is a huge divide between people who are highly outraged by the movie, and those who think it’s the best thing ever. The ones who are against this movie are either offended, off put, or they’re afraid the movie is romanticizing a dangerous narrative which would give people the wrong idea. It is most definitely not okay for two CFers to date especially with B.Cepacia. They actually do make it very obvious that they shouldn’t be near each other in the movie, but there are always those people who will still think it’s okay. I’m hoping people don’t take that part to heart. One part in particular is that pool scene.. like what!? Also, the wearing of the masks, the frequency and the kind they wear. Indoors they should absolutely be wearing a mask at all times-one that is protective against bacteria and viruses even if they’re 6 feet apart.
The publicity and awareness that the CF community is going to get from this movie is of concern to those who disapprove of the movie. They will feel that Hollywood is profiting off this idea of romanticizing CF and feel that it’s an unjust representation and that we are weak and feeble. I’m not speaking for anyone in particular, just a general sense and opinions I’ve heard from a number of people. I agree with a lot of the concerns that many of the CF population have. We’ve all said that we need more awareness for CF, and by “we,” I mean people with CF. So here it is, and of course it’s not perfect. No matter who does it or what angle they use, there will be haters and lovers. But hey, a movie is a movie, and people will take it as it is and either like it or dislike it. And if people with CF are not well educated in the common sense CF stuff, then I don’t know what to say about that.
That being said, I’m not against hanging out with people with CF, pre or post transplant. I’m definitely careful while with someone who hasn’t had a transplant yet. I will stay six feet apart and wear a mask while indoors. But, outdoors I’m not as paranoid, and don’t see the need for a mask. I do know there are people with CF out there that don’t really care about wearing masks around each other who both have not had a transplant, but hey, its whatever because that is their choice and they know the possible risks. I was more afraid of passing on something that I had to the other person because I had MRSA. The bacteria that I grew was incredibly resistant to antibiotics making infection very hard to control. I would never want someone else to have to deal with that. Over time we all become resistant to antibiotics because of constant overuse.
Yes, contact precautions are a thing, and it wouldn’t be a thing if people didn’t actually contract what others have. But just because that has happened doesn’t mean it always will, and I do believe a lot of people overreact. Those with CF should be especially careful if they hold something such as Burkholderia Cepacia. It is such a dangerous bacteria to contract because it is indeed deadly. Most transplant centers will not transplant someone who has it. I’m lucky enough that I never cultured it in my lungs. If you’re curious about what B.Cepacia is and want to learn more I suggest you do some research.
All in all, I hope that people will give this movie a chance when it comes out next month whether you hate it or not. If you dislike the idea of it just wait until it’s out of theaters. At the same time, for people who love the idea of the movie and if you’re an emotional person, I’d also suggest waiting until it comes out on DVD or Netflix, so you can cry and blow your nose in the privacy of your home and not in a giant theater full of strangers.