Do you ever wonder what people will say about you after your death? Will they remember you fondly, share funny stories about your quirks and recall great advice you once shared? Or, will they stand around smoking cigarettes and stumble through your sordid history of depression and artistic struggle?
When I Die is a mockumentary film (also self acknowledged as the “fuck-u-mentary of the century”) that explores the life of Jason Zink, a Lowell native who took his own life. Interviews with his family, childhood friends, teachers and locals offer insight into what made Zink such a unique individual.
With a passion for filmmaking and general tomfoolery, Zink did what he wanted when he wanted – living life by the “Live Fast Die Young” philosophy of GG Allin, the feces-eating punk rock musician who died of a heroin overdose in 1993.
The film’s synopsis inplies humor, but I never saw any of it. Perhaps it’s because I don’t know any of these local residents, or maybe it’s because I have seen enough footage of guys jumping into bushes while wearing animal costumes in the CKY videos I watched when I was younger. All I know is that the “hilarious” moments never came for me.
Instead, I saw snippets of a mother trying to imagine a world without her son. I saw a sister, singing sweetly with her younger brother. And I saw a bunch of young guys trying desperately to be hardcore, but succeeding only at showing their love for one another.
While the testimonials did seem unnatural and/or contrived at times, the accounts were enough to draw you in to the story and keep you interested in Zink’s life. It’s a movie that explores that common question of “What would people do, think and say when I die?”