Rick Johnson Is Dead is a fictional documentary cum drama created by filmmaker Kirsten Johnson, as a way to cope with the impending death of her 86-year-old father.
Richard Johnson (aka Dick Johnson) is suffering from dementia. As his filmmaker daughter Kirsten realises that he will soon be gone from them, she decides to create an innovative film to cope with the event.
She shoots her father in hilarious situations, dreaming up elaborate sequences of his death – falling down the stairs, injuring himself and bleeding to death, and similar stuff. The docu-drama portrays different ways—some of them violent accidents—in which her father could ultimately die. In each scenario, the elderly Johnson plays along with his daughter’s black humor and imaginative fantasies.
Kirsten Johnson even films her father recreating his own funeral — and in a funny though moving sequence — him entering the pearly gates of heaven.
The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2020, where it won the Special Jury Award for Innovation in Non-fiction Storytelling.
Directed by Kirsten Johnson