Bombardier Blood Parent Guide
Exciting and inspiring - it's hard to ask much more from a documentary.
Parent Movie Review
Chris Bombardier was born with hemophilia, a rare genetic condition that means his blood doesn’t clot. Even minor injuries left unattended could prove fatal, since Chris will just continue to bleed. Growing up, this meant a lot of frustration for the naturally active and competitive boy. Baseball games were fraught with danger for Chris, and no small amount of anxiety for his parents.
But Chris is determined not to be defined by his illness. Launching a fundraiser to help others with hemophilia get access to the only treatment, an injectable clotting factor which allows them to lead normal lives, Chris has decided to complete the Seven Summits, climbing to the peak of the tallest mountain on each continent. He’s already made it up five of them, and Everest is next…
Bombardier Blood tells an amazing story of determination and perseverance in the face of difficulty. While his access to clotting factor means that Chris can do almost anything, it is offset by his borderline phobia of needles. Having to inject himself regularly is one of the hardest things for him to do – but it’s also the cost of admission to do the things he loves. His willingness to confront that fear and cope with the associated anxiety makes his achievements that much more impressive.
Even more astounding is the emotional resilience of his family. His parents had one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever heard of: managing an active hemophiliac who refuses to tell them about some of his injuries so he can keep playing baseball. If that weren’t enough, Chris’s wife, Jessica, has to watch him haul himself up and down some of the most dangerous peaks in the world, all while worrying that he might develop a dangerous bleed which he won’t have the resources to treat. Their sacrifice to help Chris realize his dreams, and in doing so inspire so many with hemophilia, is truly remarkable.
This film doesn’t come with any content issues for parents to be too worried about, unless you or your child shares Chris’s aversion to needles. Or if your child has a reckless streak that you aren’t inclined to encourage – the Bombardier lifestyle might appeal a little too much, and not necessarily in the way you want. But Bombardier Blood is short, exciting, and inspiring, and it’s hard to ask much more from a documentary. On top of that, the documentary raises awareness for a good cause, and that’s something you definitely can’t say about most movies that hit the theaters.Directed by Patrick James Lynch. Starring Chris Bombardier, Jessica Bombardier. Running time: 80 minutes. Theatrical release August 14, 2020. Updated August 13, 2020
Watch the trailer for Bombardier Blood
Rating & Content Info
Why is Bombardier Blood rated Not Rated? Bombardier Blood is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Violence: People are shown with bloody injuries and using needles.
Sexual Content: None.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated August 13, 2020
Bombardier Blood Parents' Guide
How long have we known about hemophilia? Who were some of the early victims? Has it played a role in history?
National Hemophilia Foundation: Hemophilia
Wikipedia: Haemophilia in European Royalty
National Geographic: Death of a dynasty: How the Romanovs met their end
Climbing Everest is dangerous, but there are more problems than the obvious hazards. Who is ultimately taking the most risk? Is climbing the mountain ethically justifiable? What are some of the hidden costs of the highest peak in the world? Those who climb the mountain receive a lot of attention, but what of their guides? Sherpas, the local experts who make the climb possible, bear a lot of the burden of climbing and maintaining the mountain.
National Geographic: The Everest Moral Dilemma
National Geographic: Sherpas and the ethics of Everest
The Guardian: Mount Everest: the ethical dilemma facing climbers
Chris struggles to find ways to do what he loves: his condition means he has to work for a large company with comprehensive health insurance, or else face costs which average $270,000 per year in America for his clotting factor. What did the Affordable Care Act change for Chris?
Hemophilia Federation of America: Affordable Care Act Eases Concerns for Family With Hemophilia
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Adventure hungry younger readers might enjoy Gordon Korman’s Everest series, starting with “The Contest” and ending with “The Summit”. Other exploratory thrills from Korman include his Dive series and the Island series. Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet sees 13-year old Brian Robeson struggling to survive after a plane crash leaves him all alone in Northern Canada.
Older readers interested in learning more about hemophilia can try Stephen Pemberton’s The Bleeding Disease: Hemophilia and the Unintended Consequences of Medical Progress.
For more about hemophilia and history, Robert K Massie’s Nicholas and Alexandra: The Classic Account of the Fall of the Romanov Dynasty takes a long look at Russia's last royal family, examining the impact of the heir's hemophilia.
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For other movies about stomach-churning climbs, perhaps the best option is Free Solo which follows veteran climber Alex Honnold as he climbs the sheer granite face of El Capitan in Yosemite – without ropes or harness.
Everest, released in 2015, follows the events of the real-life 1996 Mount Everest Disaster, in which 8 people died during a surprise blizzard near the summit. At the time, this was the deadliest season on the mountain, but the 2014 avalanche and the 2015 earthquake have since passed it. The consequences of rock climbing can also be seen in 127 Hours, in which a young man finds himself trapped in a canyon with his arm pinned under a rock and no hope of rescue.