Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), aka Motor Neuron Disease (MND) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a terrible neurodegenerative condition which eventually leads to the loss of muscle control. There is no known cure. Treatment is aimed at making the patient more comfortable and alleviating the symptoms. Ventilation and feeding tubes can extend life but, in the end, there is a reliance on others to perform most, if not all, physical tasks.
Kathryn Arjomand, Roberts has been living with the illness for years now and has made the decision to embrace the time she has left in her own way. This has caused a certain amount of friction with her husband Saeed and son Noah. She relies on Tobii, a speech-generating device, to impart her wishes, but it can be an uphill struggle to be ‘heard’. In Eat Your Catfish, we’re afforded glimpses of life from her very singular mindset.
Eat Your Catfish is a very powerful and moving film about perspective. Both in the sense that it’s almost all filmed from Kathryn’s eyeline and in her particular outlook on what she wants from the rest of her time on Earth. This is what makes Adam Isenberg, Noah Amir Arjomand and Senem Tüzen’s documentary so persuasive. Not only are we (literally) getting a viewpoint we’re not usually afforded, Eat Your Catfish allows us to gain a slither of an insight of what Kathryn’s life is like.
Eat Your Catfish screens at Sheffield Doc/Fest.