Indy Suggests: Dick Johnson is Dead

Dick Johnson Is Dead is a documentary that showcases how director Kirsten Johnson and her aging father attempt to come to terms with his imminent demise from dementia. The film begins with the duo staging fake scenes in which her father, Dick, abruptly dies. These scenes paint an intimate portrait of the love between a father and daughter. Although it may seem an impossible task given the subject matter, it manages to capture all the delight that can be found from living through dark humor. At its core, this project is not about trying to minimize impending grief, but about facing the inevitability of death. The mutual pride and adoration both Kirsten and Dick have for each other creates a tender relationship that you can’t help connecting with. Recognizing that love inevitably leads to pain, this film also understands that love is integral in what makes us tick as humans. This documentary captures what it means to love and to be loved deeply - despite tackling the horror of old age, grief, and death, it is a tribute to joy, love and life. Dick Johnson is Dead will remind you to spend time with your loved ones and create memories while you still can (and definitely film it!), and it might even make you shed a tear or two. Marion Cassidy is a sophomore in the College studying History and Theatre and Performance Studies.


Contact Us

Follow Us

  • White Instagram Icon

Members Login

The Georgetown Independent

409 Leavey Center Georgetown University Box 571069 Washington, D.C. 20057 Telephone: (202) 687-6954




Articles are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or staff of The Independent or the administration, faculty or students of Georgetown University.

The Independent encourages letters to the editor, which should not exceed 500 words. The Independent reserves the right to edit for length and style. Advertising information and rates available upon request.


The Independent is composed on Adobe InDesign and printed by Silver Communications Corp., Sterling, VA.