Sook-Yin Lee and Dylan Gamble discuss the challenges of making Death And Sickness, which is now streaming on CBC Gem

Courtesy of CBC Gem

One of the recurring questions about the pandemic – at least in my line of work – is what sort of art will be created during this strange window of time.

And after months of speculation, we’re starting to see what that looks like: television shows are addressing the coronavirus, performers are streaming concerts, and today, a movie called Death And Sickness premieres on CBC’s Gem streaming service.

Written, produced, directed and shot by its leads, Sook-Yin Lee and Dylan Gamble, who play mildly fictionalized versions of themselves, Death And Sickness can best be described as an experimental psychodrama about isolation. It’s strange and intense, and intensely personal: the movie opens with Sook-Yin mourning the very real loss of her partner, the musician Adam Litovitz, who died last year.

“Most of my stories come from a nugget of inspiration from real life,” Lee says. “Real life is extraordinary, you know; [it] just has a way of unfolding in extraordinary ways and in the work that I do, I usually draw upon my life for inspiration or what I’m wrestling with – questions about existence, life. And certainly, losing Adam was irrevocable – it was like my personal 9/11. I just couldn’t imagine not feeling his presence in the work that I do. He’s been such a huge part of me that I can’t I not try to wrestle with that.”