When documentary filmmaker Joshua Izenberg was looking for a new film subject, his father told him about John Kitchin, a neurologist who left the medical field because he wasn’t truly happy. John found happiness in a rather common activity: roller skating, which he now does all day, every day. For 15 years, Dr. Kitchin’s daily ritual has been skating up and down the boardwalk in Pacific Beach, Calif., which has earned him the nickname “Slomo.”
While he was still practicing medicine, Dr. Kitchin started losing his eyesight and began losing interest in his work life. He had achieved all of the traditional “trappings of success”, but Kitchin was far from happy. So he walked away from it all and started a simple life of skating and changes to “Slomo”. To him skating is an experience similar to worship and meditation.
When Full Frame’s cameras caught up with Slomo on the boardwalk, he told us that the documentary has made him a sub-culture celebrity – he is often stopped by tourists who want to take a picture with him. Slomo believes his story has resonated with audiences worldwide because there are a growing number of people who are dissatisfied with their lives, and are experiencing an all-encompassing feeling of “meaningless”, but don’t know how to take control of their lives to find true happiness.
Follow Joshua on Twitter: @slomo