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Celine Dion documentary to explore her rare illness

By AFP

January 31, 2024 01:21 PM


File photo

Pop megastar Celine Dion, who is suffering from a rare neurological disorder, is hoping to raise awareness about her condition with a new documentary that will soon stream on Amazon Prime Video.

"I Am: Celine Dion," a feature-length film from Amazon MGM Studios, will offer a "snapshot" of the singer's life and career as she battles Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS), Amazon said Tuesday in a statement.

The studio did not give a release date for the documentary, which will be available in more than 240 countries and territories.

Dion first disclosed her condition in December 2022. In May last year, she was forced to cancel a string of shows scheduled for 2023 and 2024, saying she was not strong enough to tour.

"This last couple of years has been such a challenge for me, the journey from discovering my condition to learning how to live with and manage it, but not to let it define me," the 55-year-old Canadian said in the statement.

"As the road to resuming my performing career continues, I have realized how much I have missed it, of being able to see my fans," said the Grammy-winning singer of such hits as "My Heart Will Go On" and "Because You Loved Me."

"During this absence, I decided I wanted to document this part of my life, to try to raise awareness of this little-known condition, to help others who share this diagnosis."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2RnxZnubCM

Those with Stiff-Person Syndrome experience stiff muscles in the torso, arms and legs, with noise or emotional distress known to trigger spasms. Other symptoms can include slurred speech and double vision.

There is no cure for the progressive disorder, but treatment can help control symptoms. According to the US National Institutes of Health, SPS affects twice as many women as men.

The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed to be the result of an autoimmune response gone awry in the brain and spinal cord, according to NIH.

The documentary, directed by Irene Taylor, features footage from more than a year of filming.

Amazon MGM Studios head Jennifer Salke called the film a "raw, intimate portrayal of a pivotal time in her personal life and career, pulling back the curtain on her journey as she overcomes an unthinkable diagnosis."

Dion has sold more than 250 million albums during her decades-long career. The Quebec-born star's "Courage World Tour" began in 2019, and Dion had completed 52 shows before the Covid-19 pandemic put the remainder on hold.

The singer appeared in the 2023 rom-com film "Love Again" and recorded several new songs for the soundtrack.


AFP


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