My Heart Attack

14 min. National Film Board of Canada. 2016. DVD/Streaming $79. ISBN unavail.
Gr 7 Up—Sheldon Cohen rejoiced in considering himself the "poster boy for healthy hearts," but it doesn't pay to get cocky as the gray hairs set in and aging arteries make their own plans. In this self-narrated first-person account, he examines the circumstances of his unexpected heart attack that, oddly enough, began with his wife performing CPR on a neighbor's dog. Who knew that later the same day she'd be saving her husband's life, as she rushed him to the hospital where he eventually had a quintuple bypass. The animation reflects an EKG with its moving lines that turn from the smooth feel of normal life into the jagged, ever-changing edges of a life in the midst of drastic change. Introspective, self-deprecating, and personal, this animated short film draws viewers in to both what leads up to the heart attack and its aftermath.
VERDICT The production is nicely presented, but seems aimed at an adult audience who would better appreciate the situation. Still, teen animators might find this a useful example for storyboarding and creating their own productions.Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary, Federal Way, WA

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