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Actor and filmmaker Ben Mittleman was about to turn fifty when his doctor gave him a disturbing diagnosis -- he was suffering from a cardiac condition that required open-heart surgery.
The news opened the floodgates for Mittleman's fears and insecurities as he moved deeper into middle age, and he decided to keep a video diary to document his thoughts and feelings as the date with the surgeon approached.
Before long, Mittleman had more than just his own health to worry about, as both his wife and his mother learned they were living with cancer, and Mittleman found he no longer had time for the luxury of introspective self-pity. Mittleman edited his diary footage and video he shot of his wife and mother's experiences in treatment into the documentary Dying To Live, a personal exploration of mortality and how the demands of maturity can make themselves known at nearly any age.