Based on the bestselling posthumously published memoir of the same name, SALT IN MY SOUL is a documentary and classic coming of age story about a young woman figuring out how to live while dying. Mallory Smith was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of three. In her twenty five-year battle with the deadly disease, she carved out a life that most of us don’t come close to. Using Mallory’s posthumously published 2500-page secret diaries, hundreds of hours of newly discovered footage, and audio recordings, the film offers Mallory as the narrator of her own extraordinary chronicle.
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, the little travel her disease would allow. She attended college and 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. Her father feverishly researched treatment options, desperate that the 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; 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 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 the face of the challenges we all face.