When beloved comedian Robin Williams died by suicide in 2014, assumptions were made by the media and public alike. Robin’s Wish, a new documentary directed by Tyler Norwood, attempts to course-correct by shedding light on the comedian’s struggle with a devastating neurological disease known as Lewy body dementia.
Williams never knew his own diagnosis, which came months after his death in the final autopsy. By then, it was hard to rewrite the narrative many had in their heads already. But, as Williams’s wife, Susan Schnieder Williams, reveals in Robin’s Wish, which released on-demand today, the comedian was hardly recognizable as himself by the time he took his own life.
“During the last year of his life, Robin was confronted with anxiety, paranoia, insomnia, scary altered realities and a roller coaster of hope and despair,” Schnieder Williams wrote in a statement that accompanied the film’s release. “With our medical team’s care we chased a relentless parade of symptoms but with very little gain. It wasn’t until after Robin’s passing, in autopsy, that the source of his terror was revealed: he had diffuse Lewy body disease. It was one of the worst cases medical professionals had seen.”
HOW TO WATCH ROBIN’S WISH:
As of today, Robin’s Wish is available to buy or rent on demand and digital. You can learn more about the film and donate to the LBD to support the diagnosis and treatment of Lewy Body Dementia fund on the movie’s official website.
WHERE TO WATCH ROBIN’S WISH:
You can buy or rent Robin’s Wish pretty much anywhere that you buy or rent digital content, including iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play, and Vudu. Prices may vary depending on the platform you use, but on iTunes and Amazon, Robin’s Wish is 6.99 to rent and $12.99 to buy.
WHAT IS THE ROBIN WILLIAMS DOCUMENTARY ABOUT?
In addition to extensive interviews with Williams’s wife, Susan Schnieder Williams, Robin’s Wish features many of Williams’s friends and colleagues who attest to Williams’s drastically changed behavior in the final year of his life. Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy describes Williams struggles on the set of Night at the Museum 3, and creator David E. Kelley spoke of a similar situation on the set of The Crazy Ones, a CBS comedy starring Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Neighbors and friends describe Williams’s rapidly deteriorating mental state, and his own devastation at being unable to remember lines, perform comedy or live his life in any manageable way.
It’s not an easy watch by any means. But it does feel like we owe to Williams to get his story right—and that’s clearly what Robin’s Wish hopes to do.
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.
Where to watch Robin’s Wish