A Finished Life: The Goodbye & No Regrets Tour is a feature length documentary about Gregg Gour, a 48-year-old gay man with AIDS, who, when given six months to live, takes the road trip of his life.

Gregg had been HIV positive for 24 years and during that time the side effects of the medications made him increasingly sicker than the virus itself. In the last several years he felt that his quality of life had diminished considerably, so he choose to go off his meds and no longer fight death.

After giving away all of his belongings, Gregg buys an RV and travels across the United States with his dog, Cody, saying goodbye to family and friends who have to come to terms with Gregg's decision: That rather than suffer a long, painful death, he will end his own life before allowing the progressing illness to take away his independence.

A Finished Life: The Goodbye & No Regrets Tour is a loving and powerful portrait of Gregg's journey, which is at turns heartbreaking and surprisingly upbeat. The filmmakers were given access to his most personal moments and the result is an open and unflinching chronicle of a man's decision to live the final chapter of his life his way.

When I first heard Gregg Gour's story, my first thought was: Who is this guy that went off his AIDS meds and is giving away all his belongings, and traveling across the country in an RV on what he's calling the Goodbye & No Regrets Tour? And what do you mean he's been given six months to live and plans to hasten his death??

I thought, if this were my friend, I'd kidnap him and hold him against his will, force him to go back on his meds, and convince him that life was worth fighting for.

I wondered HOW his family and friends were finding the strength and courage to face what he was asking them to do: To let him go. AND, I thought, this needs to be documented. Someone should create a record of this journey.

At this point my co-director Barbara Green and I decided to approach Gregg (through Barbara's sister Joyce, who was a close friend of his) and see if he would talk with us. The next day, we were three strangers and a dog, standing in Gregg's apartment, and after a couple of hours that began with small talk and ended with laughter, several Diet Pepsis and a few tears, he agreed to allow us to tell his story.

Our instinct was to be non-invasive, although how could you avoid that, two chicks showing up with a camera? But we intended to stay back, out of the way, and try and observe.

Since much of Gregg's journey across the country would be just him and his dog Cody alone in the RV, we knew that we didn't want to affect that journey by traveling every bit of the road with him. Part of what his experience should be is that solitary time alone on the road. So we decided to send a small camcorder ("the Gregg Cam") with him, which he could use to record his thoughts along the way. We planned to meet up with him at his cross-country destination -- his mother's home in Pennsylvania. For the most part he did make the cross-country journey on his own, but as Gregg's story began to unfold, we did fly out to meet up with him in Colorado and Kansas to capture some very important moments.

There is a major issue at the center of Gregg's story, and that is of a terminally-ill person's right to end-of-life choices. Rather than cover it as an "issue," we decided instead to follow the personal side: the story of a man taking control of the end of his life, and how his decisions affected the people who shared that life with him.

Michelle Boyaner & Barbara Green
A Finished Life: The Goodbye & No Regrets Tour

A FINISHED LIFE the feature-length documentary by Greenie Films. How would you say goodbye?
all material ©2007-2009