Subjects: Physical and Mental Health, Religion and Spirituality Studies
Based on Mallory Smith’s posthumously published memoir of the same name, Salt In My Soul offers a rare look inside the mind of a young woman trying to live fully while dying.
Following her realization at age nine that she would die young, Mallory secretly began to record her inner thoughts in her diary while throwing herself at life: friendships in elementary school, lovers and sports teams in high school and college, the little travel her disease would allow.
After college she explored the wider world, one that was just beyond her grasp. She became a devoted environmentalist, seeing a startling and vivid metaphor for her declining health in the destruction of our world that she would explore in her writing and recordings.
Her father feverishly researched treatment options, desperate that her death sentence be commuted. Her mother obsessively helped her to live, cooking to maintain her weight and create community, raising money for research, and teaching her to prioritize relationships over all else.
Mallory fought. And she wrote.
She wrote about her fears, her loves, her pain, her depression, her hopes, and gave a voice to the many millions who struggle with invisible or visible illness.
In Mallory’s final days, her father uncovered a long-forgotten treatment that is now changing the world of medicine.
Heartbreakingly, it came too late to save his daughter.
Mallory was a young woman who lived with illness her whole life, who suffered immeasurably but who always found the will to live happy.
Her story is also a testament to enduring parental love and determination and the healing power of memoir as medicine, inspiring all of us to live life as fully as possible in defiance of the challenges we each face.
“Salt in My Soul” is extremely painful to watch, especially as it shows the roller coaster of Smith’s recurring hospitalizations. But it does paint a vivid portrait of who she was and what she believed."– New York Times
About the filmmaker
Will Battersby (Filmmaker) has been producing documentaries and features for 15 years. His first documentary as producer, Trumbo, won the National Board of Review Freedom of Speech award. The film, about blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, was released by Samuel Goldwyn Films and had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. SALT IN MY SOULis Will’s second documentary as director. The first, The Canal, will be released by Showtime which is currently adapting it into a limited series. Will is producing alongside Patricia Arquette, who will also direct. The Canal is the first feature documentary about the environmental tragedy in the Love Canal neighborhood of Niagara Falls and the extraordinary group of working-class women who fought to save their families. Will’s narrative feature credits include: SXSW favorite The Spine of Night, a hand-drawn animated fantasy film that RLJE released in October 2021, which stars Richard E. Grant, Lucy Lawless and Patton Oswalt; Stephen King’s A Good Marriage starring Joan Allen; They Remain starring Will Jackson Harper, and The Bleeding House, the first feature from Emmy Award-winning writer/director Philip Gelatt (Love, Death & Robots). Will served as Head of Development on Alex Gibney’s Oscar-nominated documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and Stephen Soderbergh’s Bubble.