When Time Magazine selected Ady Barkan as one of the 100 most influential people of 2020, they weren’t kidding. The founder of the “Be a Hero” political movement and the man who urged U.S. President Biden to waive the COVID-19 vaccine patent, Ady left his indelible mark everywhere he went. Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren were only a few of the political stars he encountered in his impassioned fight for social justice and improved health care for everyone. Even Senator Jeff Flake (now retired) – with whom his meetings often proved contentious – finally admitted that Ady is “an inspiration to all of us, no matter our politics.”
With a life story both tragic and inspirational, Ady Barkan overcame overwhelming odds to make his voice heard. Ady was an up-and-coming star of progressive politics when his life was upended with his diagnosis of ALS in 2016. A rapidly progressive and terminal illness, ALS struck this rising professional and 32-year-old new father. While many people might have given up and faded into depression, Ady was made of stronger stuff. The disease awoke in him even more passion, strength, and motivation to create social change. Everyone soon learned that “when Ady speaks, people listen.” A man who believes deeply in democracy, Ady let people know that “together we can be more than our individual selves…there is liberation in the struggle…hope is a hammer…which can shape the world…the weaker I get, the louder I become.”
Written and directed by Nicholas Buckman, NOT GOING QUIETLY follows Ady through the tough, painful, and sometimes wonderful decisions in his life from 2016 to the present. A compassionate and poignant portrayal of a man who refused to give up or give in, NOT GOING QUIETLY will win the hearts of the audience as it carefully depicts both Ady’s public image and his private life as he struggles to juggle going after what he believes in and his relationships with his wife and young son. In fact, Ady refuses to surrender and confirms his investment in the future by deciding to sire another child, a little girl who joins her young brother in the Barkan household in Santa Barbara, California.
Produced by Amanda Roddy (who joined Buckman in writing), NOT GOING QUIETLY has already won a host of awards, including the SXSW Audience Award, winner of the Special Jury Recognition for Humanity in Social Action, winner of the Cleveland Film Festival Audience Award, Best Feature Documentary winner of the Annapolis Film Festival, and official selection at multiple film festivals. Kent Bassett does an exemplary job of editing what must have been hundreds of hours of film. Musical director Dan Romer plays original music by Giosue Greco. Executive producers Jay and Mark Duplass and Bradley Whitford are proud to present this exceptional documentary film. The entire production crew deserves kudos for a job well done. Running for 96 minutes, NOT GOING QUIETLY will be released to theaters on August 13, 2021. This is a not-to-be-missed film documentary.