Synopsis

Mary Jo picking pears after completing chemotherapy.

Mary Jo picking pears after completing chemotherapy.

Stage Four: A Love Story is a moving documentary about life partners, Mary Jo and George. After weathering the ups and downs of a full but difficult marriage, they are approaching retirement and hope to enter the gentle twilight of their lives. Fate has other plans, though, as Mary Jo unexpectedly receives a diagnosis of stage four breast cancer. Taken by surprise, they must navigate the unfamiliar and intimidating world of cancer treatment and determine a course of action. Mary Jo’s acceptance of the disease comes into conflict with George’s desire for her to battle it. As they consider how much time they may have left together, they wrestle with and then leave behind old quarrels, regrets, and unresolved pain allowing their love to blossom to its fullest expression.

Exploring universal themes of imperfect love, acceptance and reconciliation, the film is about facing illness, accepting death, and coping with the loss of a beloved. It shows the resiliency of the human spirit as the characters find joy and a deeper appreciation for each other while facing the disease. With gratitude and grace, they learn that a cancer diagnosis isn't a death sentence but a call to live life to the fullest.

Film Trailer 

 Trailer for Stage Four: A Love Story.  Festival screenings of the film anticipated in fall of 2014.


Outreach & Partnerships

Stage Four: A Love Story is now in the advanced stages of post-production. In partnership with our fiscal sponsor, Docs in Progresswe are raising funds for final production costs. Because Docs in Progress is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, donations to Stage Four: A Love Story are tax deductible.

At once intimate and universal, Stage Four: A Love Story will offer support and encouragement to women facing breast cancer, to their families and to all who seek to confront mortality as a means of making life more precious. We welcome organizational and individual partners for exhibitions, events and distribution. Find out how you can help on our Partners page.

MARY JO AND GEORGE AT MOBILE BAY, ALABAMA, CIRCA 1956.

MARY JO AND GEORGE AT MOBILE BAY, ALABAMA, CIRCA 1956.

  Artist's Statement

Ben enjoying a cold one. Photo by Jenny Rose. 

Ben enjoying a cold one. Photo by Jenny Rose. 

As an art form, I find documentary filmmaking to be an extremely invigorating and liberating mode of expression. It is a privilege and honor to have people share their stories with me, and then to be able to share these stories with the world. I believe strongly in the transformative power of film, in its ability to invigorate the spirit, and in its power to change the world one heart beat at a time. As a business and a way of making a living, I find documentary filmmaking to be a giant pain in the ass!