Yes, it’s a superhero movie, but not the one you’d expect. “Indestructible” is a heartening, harrowing autobiographical documentary made by Chicago playwright and actor Ben Byer, who in 2002, at the age of 31, was given a five-year prognosis for survival after a diagnosis of the incurable and fatal neurodegenerative condition ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease). With the help of childhood friend Roko Belic (Oscar-nominated for “Genghis Blues”), Byer began a video diary, its confessions alternating with trips to China in search of alternative therapies and to Jerusalem to explore his Jewish identity. Beautiful and heartrending, “Indestructible” is likely unforgettable. From Byers’ director’s statement: “My initial purpose in making this film was to share the extraordinary moments, both dark and light, of a life with ALS. When we unlock the secrets of ALS we will better understand not only neuro-degeneration, but also aging, environment, psychology, spirituality, and what it truly means to be both alive and facing mortality every day.” Byers was to present the film; he died July 3. (Ray Pride)
“Indestructible” plays Siskel Friday, Monday and Tuesday. Byer’s producer (and sister) Rebeccah Rush and editor Tim Baron will appear.