Imagine being such an effervescent character that your sheer presence in a documentary about yourself elevates it from run-of-the-mill hagiography to a damn near life-affirming experience. One suchlike figure is storied British neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks, who passed away in 2015; in the months leading up to his death, he spoke extensively with documentary filmmaker Ric Burns (brother of Ken), and the result is a stirring portrait of a remarkable person. There’s nothing unique about the documentary—it spans the entirety of Sacks’s life, from his wartime childhood in London to formative years in California to an expansive medical career in New York City—but going through it with Sacks himself is eminently illuminating. In addition to covering his accomplishments in neurology and the great writing spurred by that work, the film also includes stories and related ephemera from his gym rat, leather-laden 20s and 30s in San Francisco and his struggles with his sexuality, which was a source of inexorable shame and the impetus for much of his self-destructive behavior. In spite of his later, exalted reputation, Sacks is shown as a complex person who made just as many missteps as he did great strides; it’s strangely inspirational to hear about how often he failed—at work, at love, at life in general. Thankfully, however, his story has such a happy ending that, for the first time in as long as I could remember, I was sobbing with elation.