Six days before Larry died, they filmed once more. He was "remarkably cognizant, aware and articulate," Paul recalled last week. The scene is "not a moment of anxiety for [Larry]. It was a moment of anxiety for me -- I'm the one talking in the film -- but he's peaceful."
As for Larry's spiritual destiny, his outlook in that last scene of Paul's upcoming documentary, "Piercing the Veil," appears clear. "His confidence is shocking," Paul said, adding, "He felt carried to whatever is next." Amid that energetic instance, the two men discuss Larry's request that Paul offer a eulogy at his funeral. Paul asks Larry what the message should be.
"People need to see this film to see what [Larry] says," said Paul.
The opportunity is approaching. Paul plans to conduct private screenings in
"Piercing the Veil" differs completely from that movie.
"It's a much more contemplative film," Fleschner, now 34 and married, said last week by telephone from
Religious faith has a prominent presence in "Piercing the Veil," but Fleschner emphasized that viewers of any, or no, belief could relate to the experience Larry and his family endure. That potential widespread connection represents the reason Larry agreed to open his life in such a vulnerable condition. "This film features both Catholic and Protestant family members," as Paul's film synopsis explains. "It interweaves their heartfelt responses to suffering close at hand. And the underlying story speaks to all denominations, perhaps all traditions -- anyone suffering with a crisis of faith."
Paul described his uncle as a "very charismatic and magnetic" personality, "a bachelor, a ladies man -- and he would say that, a man of the world," who also worked 70-plus-hour weeks. He embraced Catholicism in 2005, the year of his initial diagnosis, and sought spiritual mentoring from Sister
Two months after they returned, Larry's cancer did, too, in terminal form.
The film shows Sister
A quotation from Saint Mother Theodore defines the last two months of Larry's life, the span covered in the film: "Put aside all uneasiness about the future. Place yourself gently into the hands of
In his narration, Paul says, "At that threshold of stillness, there was an amazing comfort in the grace of letting go."
In those days, Paul heard Larry express only one regret, that he'd worked too much. "He said, 'There's more to life than work. I wish I spent more time with my family,'" Paul recalled. Larry's fondness for his family plays out in the documentary.
Several film industry veterans who added technical touches to "The Drunk" do the same with "Piercing the Veil." The finishing stages of the project involve its marketing, as well as foreign-language translations. With seven years, "considerable" personal financial resources, and a love "like brothers" for his late uncle invested in the project, Paul hopes to raise
In the meantime, he is inviting people of any background to contact him via email if they'd like to attend, or schedule, a private viewing of the film. "I think it's just a spiritual message for anybody, whether you're a person of faith or not," Paul said, "that you can't control life."
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