Culture / Film

‘Introducing, Selma Blair’ is a triumphant portrait of life with multiple sclerosis

Watching Selma Blair on screen has always brought pure joy. Whether it was as Vivian from Legally Blonde in all her pearls and argyle sweater-vests. Or as Jane from The Sweetest Thing in that scene at the dry cleaners that has been burned into our collective memory. But this time her role in front of the lens is different. Fair warning, you're going to need tissues.

Introducing, Selma Blair is a moving portrait of Blair in the years since her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Helmed by filmmaker Rachel Fleit, the documentary shadows the actor prior to, and following a perilous stem cell transplant she underwent in June 2019. Through the film, both Blair and Fleit confront misconceptions around disability and mortality. They also dismantle the beauty myths we're told and sold. From what we've witnessed in the heart-wrenching trailer released just yesterday, in Selma's mind there was a chance that the documentary would be released posthumously.

"We're shooting the last days of my life", Blair said.

In order to prepare for the procedure Blair had to stop taking her medications and fly to Chicago. From there she needed to break down her immune system completely with an aggressive round of chemotherapy before she could even have the transplant. After the surgery she spent weeks in hospital isolating so as to minimise any chance of infection. The whole process was incredibly taxing and presented very real threats to her life. But then again, she is no stranger to pain. To Blair, it was her last chance.


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Through vignettes filmed via iPhone's and Fleit's lens, the documentary stitches together a candid, honest and raw portrayal of the reality of living with multiple sclerosis. In 2018 Selma Blair took to Instagram to share her diagnosis of the incurable autoimmune disease. Since that time, she has continued to bring visibility to the illness and has been a source of comfort for those similarly suffering.

Only this week, Christina Applegate, disclosed her own diagnosis with multiple sclerosis. Selma Blair reached out publicly in a tweet that read, “Loving you always, always here. As are our kids. Beating us up with love.”

Introducing, Selma Blair will debut in theatres on 15 October and will be available for streaming on Discovery + on 21 October.

In the meantime, you'll catch us, tears streaming, re-watching the trailer below.

Images: @selmablair

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