Through a shift in perspective, Nicole Tupper, a young woman living with a rare form of terminal cancer, shocks her doctors when she outlives her prognosis beyond everyone’s expectations. With the support of her family and friends, Nicole finds the beauty and meaning behind her pain, and discovers what makes life worth living. Blissful at Zero follows Nicole, doctors of Eastern and Western medicine, and a Jungian psychologist as they offer an inspiring and thought provoking examination of what it truly means to be alive.
LITTLE VIKING PRODUCTIONS in association with MEDIA BIRD
LETTER from the DIRECTORS
When we first met Nicole Salandra Tupper and heard her story we couldn’t fathom how it could all be true. How the woman we were looking at could possibly be living with Stage IV cancer. From my understanding this wasn’t what cancer looked like. Sure, she looked like an extremely thin woman, but this is Los Angeles. That isn’t an odd thing to come by. She was beautifully put together, and so vibrant and full of life. We couldn’t wrap our minds around everything she could possibly be going through, but we knew that her journey needed to be shared. As production started and we began spending long days with her the extent of her disease became clear. We continued to become more and more baffled by how she could be as truly radiant as she was. Enjoying something in every day. Soaking it in.
We had become fascinated by those who, despite being chronically or terminally ill, chose to focus on joy instead of fear, even during the worst of circumstances. We made Blissful at Zero to tell a different story surrounding cancer. We did not want to examine the ins and outs of the medical world, or specific treatments, or our healthcare system. There are plenty of films that tackle those very pertinent issues. We chose to make Blissful at Zero to give a platform to someone who refused to accept defeat and did not succumb to the misery and isolation associated with terminal illness.
Now being more than a year since Nicole has passed, we still, every day, think about how we can apply some of what we learned from Nicole in our own lives. We strive to get closer to the place she had reached. A place of acceptance. Acceptance that we can’t always control what happens to us in this life, but we can control how we feel about it. We can choose to love the hardships, the disease, the losses, all because we know they have something to teach. They bring us closer to who we are and what we’re meant to learn in this lifetime.
We hope that by experiencing Blissful at Zero, those who are having a hard time finding beauty and happiness in their lives are inspired to re-examine all that they do have. Breath in their lungs, blood in their veins, and love in their hearts. For every day we wake up we are given the opportunity to accept our lives and choose to love ourselves. Just as Nicole did.
- Emma Fazzuoli & Joe Gasparik
duration 60 MINUTES
frame rate 23.976
aspect ratio 2.39:1