HBO is releasing a documentary on November 21 about the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.
The movie is called “Marathon: The Patriot’s Day Bombing,” and the story is told through footage of victims, family members, first responders, journalists, and other people affected.
Patrick Downes lost a leg in the attack, and his wife, Jessica Kensky, lost two. Both Downes and Kensky are featured in the film.
Downes joined BPR to talk about the documentary. He said while participating in the film wasn’t easy, it was for an important cause.
“It’s incredibly emotional,” he said. “It takes us from that awful moment all the way through today, and still trying to push through surgeries and rehabilitation, as well as all the ebbs and flows that our city went through throughout those initial weeks, and the terror that it caused everybody.”
Downes said he allowed documentary film crews to cover his and his wife’s stories because he wanted to give viewers a window into the long and complicated road to recovery.
“Oftentimes when we see news pieces, they capture someone in one moment in time. They’re either doing really well, or they’re doing really bad or they're somewhere in the middle,” said Downes. “The truth is, you may experience all of those emotions within one day, and that extends for months and years after the fact.”
Downes and Kensky have both had multiple surgeries for their injuries. They have also completed rehabilitation and physical therapy.
“You have to think about this as a chronic disease, that it’s not a one time thing that somehow you put on a prosthetic and then you’re done,” Downes said. “For the rest of our lives we’ll have complications throughout our bodies that we have to be really aware of.”
Downes said the complexities of his experience are echoed in the lives of people all over the world. He said he wanted to participate in the HBO documentary to show people those intricacies.
“We have to understand how complex we are as humans, not just the physical piece, but the psychological piece as well,” he said. “Our story is not just our story...These are the struggles that people go through regardless of your nationality, and it’s important that those nuances and the complexity of it all is told”
To hear Patrick Downes’ interview with BPR in its entirety, click on the audio link above.