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States of Grace
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States of Grace

Winner of multiple audience awards, States of Grace intimately captures the profound transformation of a revered physician and her family in the wake of a life-changing accident. For Dr. Grace Dammann, a pioneering AIDS specialist who was honored by the Dalai Lama, a routine commute across the Golden Gate Bridge turned tragic when another driver crashed head on into her car. After seven weeks in a coma and a dozen surgeries, Grace miraculously awakened with her cognitive abilities intact, though her body was left shattered. States of Grace follows her return home to the Buddhist community where she and her partner Nancy "Fu" Schroeder live with their teenage daughter Sabrina, who was born with cerebral palsy.

Family dynamics are turned upside down as each of them must negotiate new roles and responsibilities. As the only able-bodied person in their household, Fu becomes the primary caregiver to Grace while also taking on a more active role as parent. Grace, meanwhile, must reconcile her joy at still being alive with the frustration of being so dependent on others. With dry humor and brave candor, the three of them slowly recalibrate their lives together and apart.

Through verite footage and interviews with doctors, family, and friends, the film paints an inspiring portrait of devotion and trust as it delicately documents one woman's fight to reinvent herself.

  • Best Documentaries of 2016, Video Librarian
  • Audience Award - Mill Valley Film Festival
  • Audience Award - Napa Valley Film Festival
  • Audience Award - Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

San Francisco Chronicle: "Brave, refreshingly unsentimental. . . . A journey that directors Helen Cohen and Mark Lipman chart in an unflinching yet sensitive way."

Video Librarian: "... not only shows the dynamics of a non-traditional American family but also probes the limits of the caregiver/patient relationship...A powerful documentary that touches on numerous subjects - medical, biographical, religious and LGBT - this is highly recommended!"

Comments (7)

Anonymous picture

This film is a blessing. thank you.

Anonymous picture

Thanks, Jim. So glad that the film spoke to you in a deep way.

Anonymous picture

A wonderful, inspiring film about wonderful, inspiring people.

Anonymous picture

This was one of the most intriguing movies I have watched in quite a while. I highly recommend this movie for all to watch.

Anonymous picture

Really glad you liked the film, Marian, and thanks for recommending it.

Anonymous picture

States of Grace is a labor of love that took us over 5 years to complete. We began filming in 2009, 13 months after our dear friend, Dr. Grace Dammann, narrowly survived a head-on crash on the Golden Gate Bridge. We had no idea how Grace’s recovery would progress over time, but we could feel ...Read more

Anonymous picture

This is an extraordinary film. Thank you. I am going through a transition time myself; the future is unclear. It was good for me to watch this.