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‘Salt in My Soul’ Review: Living, Even Thriving, With Illness

The New York Times, Ben Kenigsberg, January 20, 2022

Making a documentary that doubles as a final testament is no easy task. But with access to family members, doctors, personal reflections and hospital footage (which includes a surgery), “Salt in My Soul” poignantly reconstructs the life of Mallory Smith, who received a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis at 3 years old.

Salt In My Soul: Poignant Film Calls Attention To The Need For Phages For Antibiotic Resistance

Forbes, Judy Stone, January 22, 2022

Mallory Smith was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was only 3-years old. Despite daily life interrupted by intensive treatments and more than 70 hospitalizations, she went on to become an excellent athlete and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford, as well as an environmental journalist. Most of all, Mallory had a remarkable spirit and resilience. She lived life more fully than most of us ever do, knowing that she might die at any moment.

Can Phages Help Where Antibiotics Have Failed?

Medscape, Judy Stone, MD, February 23, 2022

A new film called Salt in My Soul was recently released, with one of the expressed goals being to raise funds for phage research and antibiotic resistance.

FilmWeek: ‘Lunana: A Yak in The Classroom,’ ‘Compartment No. 6,’ ‘Salt In My Soul’ And More

Filmweek with Larry Mantle, KPCC, January 21, 2022

Larry Mantle and KPCC film critics Wade Major and Claudia Puig review this weekend’s new movie releases on streaming and on demand platforms. Larry also speaks with KPCC’s John Horn about the Sundance Film Festival’s pivot to a virtual event for the second year in a row. Also on the show, a conversation between writer/director Sian Heder and KPCC’s John Horn about “CODA, ” Heder’s record-breaking film which premiered at Sundance in 2021.

After losing daughter to cystic fibrosis, a mom is sharing ‘Salt in My Soul’ to help others

KCRW, Steve Chiotakis, January 20, 2022

Mallory Smith, who interned at KCRW in 2013, was fascinated by the sea because the salty water helped her body manage what cystic fibrosis was doing to it.

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‘Salt in My Soul’ Now a Film About Mallory Smith’s Life With CF

Cystic Fibrosis News Today, Hawken Miller , January 18, 2022

Mallory Smith was a poster child for cystic fibrosis (CF). She was a three-sport varsity athlete in high school, was accepted into Stanford University, and was consistent with her therapies, medications, and nutrition. Her smile and positive energy were felt by friends and family.

Review: The documentary ‘Salt in My Soul’ is a moving tribute to Mallory Smith

Los Angeles Times, Kimber Myers, January 20, 2022

Intimacy pervades the moving documentary “Salt in My Soul,” based on the posthumously published journals of Mallory Smith, a vibrant young woman with cystic fibrosis. Smith chronicled her experience with both raw honesty and real eloquence, and director Will Battersby refuses to cut away from more painful moments of the disease and its effects on Smith and her family.

This Week’s Movie Releases: January 17-21

A.frame – The Academy’s Guide to Movies, January 18, 2022

This week, Pierce Brosnan and Kaya Scodelario star in the action adventure fantasy The King’s Daughter, with Brosnan as King Louis XIV, and Scodelario as the titular daughter, who must stop her father upon discovering his peculiar scheme for immortality- spolier alert: it involves murdering mermaids!

We’ve also got the powerful Gold Rush-era love story Redeeming Love, the heartfelt drama The Tiger Rising – about a boy (Christian Convery) whose life is changed forever after finding a tiger in a cage in the woods, and Salt in My Soul, a doc based on Mallory Smith’s posthumously published memoir about living with cystic fibrosis.

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It is a Gift to Hear Mallory Smith’s Voice in ‘Salt in My Soul’ Documentary

Gunnar Esiason, January 21, 2022

Salt in My Soul, the documentary version, is something special. If you’ve followed the blog for a long time, you know I loved the book. In fact, Darcy and I had a passage from Salt in My Soul read aloud at our wedding:

My life is a miracle. Life in general is a miracle. Our existence is the result of stars exploding, solar systems forming, our Earth having an environment hospitable to life, and then, finally, millions of highly improbable events accumulating over millions of years to bring us, a capable and conscious bag of stardust, to the here and now.

1on1 with Will Battersby and Diane Shader Smith (SALT IN MY SOUL)

Screenfish Online, January 21, 2022

Based on Mallory Smith’s mémoirs of the same name, the new documentary SALT IN MY SOUL tells Mallory’s amazing journey with cystic fibrosis. In her 25-year battle with the disease, Mallory lived a life of vibrancy and vitality. Often told in her own words, SOUL is the incredible story of one woman’s determination and the innumerable people that she impacted after her passing. In this 1on1, we speak to director Will Battersby and Mallory’s mother, Diane Shader Smith about the experience of revisiting Mallory’s journals and the balance between acceptance and fighting back.

Watch Interview

Salt in the Soul: Living for the Moment

Screenfish Online, Steve Norton, January 25, 2022

Salt in My Soul introduces the world to Mallory Smith, a young woman with cystic fibrosis who remains resolute in her desire to live a full life. Diagnosed at the age of three, Mallory entered into her twenty-five-year battle with the disease with ferocity, managing to spark joy wherever she went.

Salt in My Soul Film Review

UK Film Review, Rachel Willis, January 12, 2022

When she was just three years old, Mallory Smith was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. What transpires in director Will Battersby’s documentary, Salt in My Soul, is a family’s fight for their daughter’s life.

In The Seats With…Will Battersby and Diane Shader Smith for ‘Salt In My Soul’

In The Seats with… podcast, January 21, 2022

We’re back from somewhat of an unintentional (yet also intentional) hiatus as we dealt with life stuff and took an extra second or two to re-charge the batteries but we’re back with a special one.In theatres in NY and LA today and on VOD this coming January 25th; ‘Salt In My Soul’ is a very special documentary about the importance of living life to the utmost.’Salt In My Soul’ is based on the posthumously published memoirs of the same name that chronicles the life of one Mallory Smith.

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She fought cystic fibrosis for more than 20 years. Now a NJ director is sharing her story

Asbury Park Press, Alex Biese, January 20, 2022

Mallory Smith struggled with cystic fibrosis for most of her life. She also unflinchingly documented years of her daily triumphs, trials and tribulations.

Now, a New Jersey filmmaker is sharing Mallory’s story with the world.

Comedy, music, film and more things to do this weekend at the Jersey Shore

Asbury Park Press, Gabriela L. Laracca & Alex Biese, February 3, 2022

Essex County filmmaker Will Battersby unflinchingly shares Mallory Smith’s decades-long fight against cystic fibrosis in the harrowing new documentary “Salt in My Soul.”

An athlete dying young

The Boston Globe, Peter Keough, January 21, 2022

Diagnosed at 3 with cystic fibrosis, a fatal, incurable, and debilitating illness, Mallory Smith kept her suffering to herself. Instead she used the little time she had left to achieve excellence and pursue her dreams. Tall, lithe, and athletic (she played on three sports teams), she also excelled academically, and only her family and close friends knew of her suffering and the ordeal of the treatments she had to undergo.

SALT IN MY SOUL – Interview With Filmmaker Will Battersby And Subject Diane Shader Smith

Selig Film News, Gadi Elkon, January 21, 2022

One of the most moving documentaries of 2021 is SALT IN MY SOUL. Filmmaker Will Battersby and film subject Diane Shader Smith talked with our Gadi Elkon about this powerful story.

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Interview: Will Battersby Talks Salt in My Soul

Shock Ya, Karen Benardello, January 18, 2022

Holding onto their biggest hopes, dreams and happiness amidst their struggle with invisible illness is a powerful journey people can truly relate to during the current devastating COVID-19 pandemic.


The Movie State, Ben Sears, January 20, 2022

I recently spoke with director Will Battersby, director of Salt In My Soul, a documentary about Mallory Smith and her battle with cystic fibrosis, and the irrevocable impact she had on everyone she met. We discuss Will’s involvement in the project, the difficulties of telling Mallory’s story in a concise and compelling manner, and raising awareness for cystic fibrosis. Our conversation has been edited for clarity.

Filmmaker 5 with Will Battersby

Classic Couple Academy, Kami, January 21, 2022

Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age three, Mallory Smith realized at an early age that her life would be cut short. Nevertheless, she decided to live life fully, documenting her thoughts and feelings in a private diary. She went to school, developed friendships, played sports, took lovers, worked as an environmentalist.

SALT IN MY SOUL about CF Warrior Mallory Smith will make you cry and love it, Quendrith Johnson, January 21, 2022

When the documentary SALT IN MY SOUL directed by Will Battersby drops Jan. 21, in the first round of screenings, the life of Cystic Fibrosis Warrior Mallory Smith will be shared and her journey with this condition bared. Diagnosed at age 3, and given heartbreaking news of a predicted short life at age 9, Mallory put punctuation on her own death sentence by journaling about it. She also did yoga, became a surfer, writer, podcaster, even a Stanford University graduate.

Your Weekly Roundup of New Movies: “Salt in My Soul” Is a Heartwrenching Documentary About a Young Woman Diagnosed With Cystic Fibrosis

Willamette Week, WW Contributors, January 20, 2022

If you plan to see Salt in My Soul in theaters, bring Kleenex. The heartwrenching documentary follows the life of Mallory Smith, a young woman who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as a child. As a teenager, she contracted B. cepacia, a bacteria in her lungs that is often deadly for CF patients.

Review: ‘Salt In My Soul’ is inspiration through posthumous eloquence

Reel News Daily, Liz Whittemore, January 21, 2022

Mallory Smith‘s physically and emotionally fraught journey is equal parts heartbreaking and extraordinary. How does a person come to terms with death a such a young age? That’s the ultimate question as we delve into the mind of Mallory in her own intimate, raw, and eloquent reflections.

Short Redhead Reel Reviews for the week of Jan. 21

Sun This Week, Wendy Schadewald, January 21, 2022

Will Battersby’s powerful, gut-wrenching, captivating, hopeful, eye-opening, heartbreaking, moving, inspirational, thought-provoking, 96-minute documentary based on environmentalist Mallory Smith’s bestselling, posthumously published memoir “Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life” that chronicles her enthusiasm for living her best life while dying (10/12/1992-11/15/2017)


Backseat Mafia, Rob Aldam, January 19, 2022

More than 30,000 people are living with cystic fibrosis in the US today. It’s a hereditary disease which is usually diagnosed at birth, causing sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive system. This leads to lung infections and problems with digesting food. Only roughly half of those born with this condition are expected to live past forty and, while medical advancements are extending life expectancy all the time, there is no cure.

Salt in My Soul

Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Margaret Barton-Fumo, January 15, 2022

Reading from her journals about living with cystic fibrosis for roughly twenty years, Mallory Smith sounds by turns pensive and fluid, her words and mood cresting and crashing in waves like the sea where she loved to surf.

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“Salt in My Soul” Documentary Discussion

Cake for Breakfast podcast, January 13, 2022

Based on Mallory Smith’s posthumously published memoir of the same name, SALT IN MY SOUL, the film offers a rare look inside the mind of a young woman trying to live fully while dying.

Listen on Spotify


Good Movie Choices for January

Columbus Underground, Rachel Willis, January 13, 2022

When she was just three years old, Mallory Smith was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. What transpires in director Will Battersby’s documentary, Salt in My Soul, is a family’s fight for their daughter’s life.

Salt in My Soul

Film Monthly, Calhoun Kersten, January 14, 2022

Salt in My Soul tells the remarkable story of Mallory Smith, whose memoirs by the same name were published posthumously to offer equal parts solace and sobering reality as she details her life with cystic fibrosis.


Film Monthly, Jef Burnham, January 20, 2022

After screening the documentary Salt in My Soul (read my review here), I was able to sit down with director Will Battersby and Mallory’s mother, Diane Shader-Smith, to discuss their continued efforts to share Mallory’s story of her life with cystic fibrosis.

Watch Interview

Salt in My Soul (2022)

Bain’s Film Reviews, Kyle Bain, January 16, 2022

At the age of three Mallory Smith was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. As her dad put it, she was given a “death sentence.” Mallory refused to let her disease hold her back, however, and she spent the rest of her life looking for a way to survive her diagnosis. .

the jan price show

Will Battersby & Diane Shader Smith – Salt In My Soul

The Jan Price Show All About Movies, January 15, 2022

Director, Will Battersby & Diane Shader Smith discuss with Jan Price their new documentary, “Salt In My Soul” – in L.A. and N.Y theaters on January 21st!

Listen Here

Gone but not forgotten

Tim Wotton, December 10, 2021

Occasionally something will come from leftfield, stop you in your tracks and cause deep emotion and reflection. I had one such moment recently which I want to share with you…

This Week’s Film Reviews (Jan 21, 2022)

Afrotoronto, Gilert Seah, January 21, 2022

If you want a good cry and feel good film at the same time SALT IN MY SOUL will do the trick.

Mallory suffers from Cystic fibrosis. (CF) is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine. Long-term issues include difficulty breathing and coughing up mucus as a result of frequent lung infections.

SALT IN MY SOUL — A Bright Light Shining in the Dark

Disappointment Media, Dan Skip Allen, January 20, 2022

Documentaries are a way into the lives and subject matters of the subject that is being depicted or the topic that is being discussed. Sometimes the subject or topic is that of someone or something we know about and other times it’s not.

Documentary Round-Up

The Movie Guru, January 21, 2022

Based on the posthumous memoir by Mallory Smith,
Salt in My Soul is an engrossing documentary that sheds light on Mallory’s battles with cystic fibrosis.


The Weekend Warrior Blog, January 19, 2022

Opening in New York at the Cinema Village, the Laemmle Royal in L.A, and a few other cities, is Will Battersby’s doc SALT IN MY SOUL (Giant Pictures), based on Mallory Smith’s posthumously-published 2500-page memoir that covers her 25-year battle with cystic fibrosis, for which she was diagnosed at the age of 3.

Salt In My Soul

CJ @ the Movies, January 18, 2022

The worst of times about CF is told emotionally.
The opening credits of “Salt In My Soul” explain how Mallory Smith (1992-2017) secretly recorded her struggle with cystic fibrosis (CF) in her diaries, computer, and audio recordings, and how in her final hours, she was given an experimental treatment, which would help fight against superbugs.

Salt in My Soul – Director Will Battersby and Diane Shader Smith (Mallory’s Mom)

Film School Radio, January 22, 2022

SALT IN MY SOUL is the story of a woman, Mallory Smith, wise beyond her years who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of three. In her twenty five-year battle with the deadly disease, Mallory carved out a life that most of us don’t come close to.

Salt in My Soul | Will Battersby and Diane Shader Smith Interview [Exclusive]

LRM Online, January 24, 2022

After years of fighting cystic fibrosis, Mallory Smith succumbed to the disease at the age of twenty-five. However, she led a fulfilled life without regrets for more than twenty years as her story is chronicled in the inspirational documentary Salt in My Soul.

SALT IN MY SOUL An Unfinished Life: An Interview with Will Battersby and Diane Smith

Unspool Hollywood, January 20, 2022

Finding the Balance of Living in the Moment and Preparing For a Future

Will Battersby brings Mallory Smith’s challenges and triumphs to the screen in ‘SALT IN MY SOUL: An Unfinished Life’, based on her book with the same name.

SALT IN MY SOUL: New documentary provides a rare look into the life of Mallory Smith

The Hollywood Times, Valerie Milano, January 21, 2022

Watch Interview

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