Andy Whitfield was the lead actor in Spartacus - Blood and Sand. ‘Be Here Now’, is named after the tattoo on Andy’s arm and his core life philosophy. The title text for Be Here Now is the same font as the words on his arm. It’s a fly on the wall documentary of his deterioration under cancer. The film is intimate, with minimal mention of cameras except by their 4 year old daughter who adorably interrupts her father’s yoga relaxation therapy and romping in and loudly pointing them out.
I was fortunate enough to see the New Zealand debut screening in Roxy Cinema which opened with a powhiri from DocEdge officials and a haka from a neighbouring school. It was both an official opening for the Documentary Festival, and a welcome to Wellington for Be Here Now director Lilibet Foster, Andy’s wife Vashti Whitfield, and other crew members. The director was quite emotionally overwhelmed by the welcome.
The screening ended with a Q&A with Foster and Vashti Whitfield. What was most inspiring about the film and indeed about hearing Vashti speak after the film was the couple’s attitude towards life and Vashti’s courage and positivity after her husband and best friend's passing. I don’t want to say more about this film but I would recommend it to anyone. It’s extremely touching, heartbreaking, and somehow very inspiring. “Be Here Now is all about being present and not being afraid of what you don’t know. And so I feel really inspired to do this. Even though I have absolutely no idea how it’s going to turn out.” -Andy Whitfield