In 2006, after living with HIV for 24 years, 48-year-old Gregg Gour (rhymes with pour not sour) made plans to end his life.
Two years earlier, he had decided to let his disease run its course. He stopped taking his HIV meds and went on disability from his employer, Warner Brothers. Told that he had six months to live, he distributed most of his belongings, packed up an RV and took his dog Cody on the road with him. He didn’t want a memorial service, and he thought that if people had something to say to him, this would be their opportunity, with no regrets.
In this intimate and at times hard-to-watch doc, co-directors Michelle Boyaner and Barbara Green follow Gour on what he called his “Goodbye & No Regrets Tour.” The doc begins in San Diego and continues through Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado (for his sister Nichole’s wedding in Denver), Texas (where the RV breaks down in Houston) and Kansas (to see his sister Tammy). While in Kansas, Gour decides to leave Cody with Tammy, and the scene where he says his goodbyes to Tammy and Cody is a first-rate tear jerker.
Then it’s on to Wisconsin (where Gour admits to beginning to feel sick), Michigan (where he’s joined by his Aunt Sue for the drive to Pennsylvania to see his sister Debbie and mother Bonnie. A trip to New York includes some theater and time spent with friends.
Throughout the journey, Gour speaks of his deceased lover Jeffrey and his belief that they will soon be together. He also explains that he is hastening the inevitable. While in New York he is interviewed on NPR about his journey.
Gour’s travels continue to London and Ireland and then back to Pennsylvania and New York, and we begin to see him in decline. By mid-April, he decides to return to California in May and finish what he started, taking his cues from the book “Final Exit.”
The scene in which he tells his mother of his decision is emotionally wrenching. The film concludes in early May 2006, in the last hours of his life. This is powerful and difficult stuff, but well worth seeing.
Although she was aware of her gender identity issues from the age of 4, it wasn’t until 2000, at the age of 28, that filmmaker Gwen Haworth came out to her family and friends and began the transition from Steve to Gwen. For “She’s a Boy I Knew,” Haworth interviewed the six closest people in her life in the hopes that they would share their feeling about her transition and the impact that it had on them. The resulting interview segments are bluntly honest but always presented with love.
Gwen’s ex-wife Malgosia, best friend Roari, sisters Nichole and Kim, and parents Thomas and Colleen all have their say. Their unflinching insights, many of which are expressed in emotional and heartbreaking monologues, are unquestionably as informative for the filmmaker as they are for the viewer.