November 18, 2019  (Web Review)

Logan’s Syndrome

(2018) 79 min. DVD: $79: high schools & public libraries; $250: colleges & universities. DRA. The Video Project. PPR. Closed captioned.

Reviewer rating: 3.0/4

Filmmaker Nathan Meier’s documentary centers on Logan Madsen, a Salt Lake City-based artist who was born with Miller Syndrome, a genetic disorder that resulted in facial deformities and misshapen arms. The disease is so rare that only 30 cases have been recorded in the world, with one being Madsen’s older sister Heather. Madsen has undergone 25 surgeries during his lifetime and is reliant on more than a dozen medications. Despite his physical challenges, Madsen has carved out a successful niche as a painter whose bold and deeply personal work has gained praise in gallery exhibitions. Madsen has also created a video diary that details his daily routine and his struggles to live a regular life despite his physical limitations (particularly noting his frustrations at finding a romantic partner). Meier’s film was shot over a five-year period and covers nearly every possible aspect of Madsen’s life, including his relationship with his sister and with his Mormon parents. While Madsen is a charming and articulate personality who has created a truly astonishing artistic output, the film could have benefited from more conservative editing—especially in the sections regarding his parents’ tumultuous relationship. But overall this is an inspiring portrait of a wonderful individual who is not defined by his disabilities. Recommended. Aud: C, P. (P. Hall)