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James White centers on the titular James, forced out of his partying habits and into the role of caregiver to his mother, Gail, who’s played with honesty and pathos by Cynthia Nixon. She’s been diagnosed with cancer; her condition is advanced.

Paste: Had you been waiting on the right story? One you could spend four or five years working on?
Mond: I started out working on another project while my mom was sick. It allowed me to get into more personal stuff and really confront it.

Paste: What did they say to you to convince you that this was the story you should focus on?
Mond: Because it’s something that I needed to focus on; because it was personal to me. I needed to understand it. It seemed important to all of us.

Paste: Well, that’s what I felt at the end of the film. OK, James survived! He lived through that. We imagine going through that and think we could never survive it!
Mond: Sometimes you move past the survivor aspect of it—you’re no longer a survivor, you’re living.

Read more on Paste.

Watch the film on Amazon.

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