Celine Dion documentary will explore rare illness Stiff-Person Syndrome

Agence France-Presse - Philstar.com
Celine Dion documentary will explore rare illness Stiff-Person Syndrome
In this file photo taken on September 19, 2019 Canadian singer Celine Dion performs on the opening night of her new world tour "Courage" at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Quebec. Celine Dion revealed on her Instagram account on December 8, 2022 that she is suffering from a "very rare neurological disorder", which has forced her to postpone concerts on her "Courage World Tour" in Europe once again.
AFP / Alice Chiche

MONTREAL, Canada — Pop megastar Celine Dion, who is suffering from a rare neurological disorder, is hoping to raise awareness about her condition with a new documentary that will soon stream on Amazon Prime Video.

"I Am: Celine Dion," a feature-length film from Amazon MGM Studios, will offer a "snapshot" of the singer's life and career as she battles Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS), Amazon said Tuesday in a statement.

The studio did not give a release date for the documentary, which will be available in more than 240 countries and territories.

Dion first disclosed her condition in December 2022. In May last year, she was forced to cancel a string of shows scheduled for 2023 and 2024, saying she was not strong enough to tour.

"This last couple of years has been such a challenge for me, the journey from discovering my condition to learning how to live with and manage it, but not to let it define me," the 55-year-old Canadian said in the statement.

"As the road to resuming my performing career continues, I have realized how much I have missed it, of being able to see my fans," said the Grammy-winning singer of such hits as "My Heart Will Go On" and "Because You Loved Me."

"During this absence, I decided I wanted to document this part of my life, to try to raise awareness of this little-known condition, to help others who share this diagnosis."

Related: Celine Dion lost control over muscles due to Stiff Person Syndrome — sister

Those with SPS experience stiff muscles in the torso, arms and legs, with noise or emotional distress known to trigger spasms. Other symptoms can include slurred speech and double vision.

There is no cure for the progressive disorder, but treatment can help control symptoms. According to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), SPS affects twice as many women as men.

The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed to be the result of an autoimmune response gone awry in the brain and spinal cord, according to NIH.

The documentary, directed by Irene Taylor, features footage from more than a year of filming.

Amazon MGM Studios head Jennifer Salke called the film a "raw, intimate portrayal of a pivotal time in her personal life and career, pulling back the curtain on her journey as she overcomes an unthinkable diagnosis."

Dion has sold more than 250 million albums during her decades-long career. The Quebec-born star's "Courage World Tour" began in 2019, and Dion had completed 52 shows before the Covid-19 pandemic put the remainder on hold.

The singer appeared in the 2023 rom-com film "Love Again" and recorded several new songs for the soundtrack.

RELATED: Celine Dion appears in public for first time in almost 4 years after Stiff Person Syndrome diagnosis

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