We’re all going to die, so what’s the point? Throw in a cancer diagnosis and the futility of the human condition really comes into focus. Ryan Anthony certainly can comment from the latter. But the life we witness in Chris Haigh’s Song For Hope: The Ryan Anthony Story makes a case for living, and just because death is coming, doesn’t mean we must pay heed. This, especially, when people like Ryan give us reason to keep reveling in the joy – no matter what.

The 80 minute documentary begins in symphony and the manner in which the acoustics reach us and the auditorium makes immortality sound pretty straightforward. So when we officially get the bad news, the melody doesn’t allow us to actually acknowledge the words. “Unfortunately, five years ago Ryan Anthony was diagnosed with multiple myeloma – a cancer of which you realize there is no cure.”

And now dug in, we learn that the denial comes with good cause. “At the time of his diagnosis, Ryan was given twelve months. A full six years later, I’m happy to introduce you to the one and only Ryan Anthony.”

Taking the stage as one of the world’s greatest trumpet players, we only get a glimpse of our unyielding diehard. The music then kicks up a gear, his life flashes before our eyes in an array of pictures that starts early and takes us triumphantly into today. Life is good.

A fairy tale that began when he followed in his grandfather’s musical footsteps, had him excel through his teenage years and put him at arm’s length with Ronald Reagan when he performed at the White House.

Still, there were career struggles but the bumps didn’t stand a chance against his persistence. Thus, cancer had no idea what it was getting into. Even so, Ryan’s limitless positivity still had to acknowledge the facts, and his daughter’s graduation provided the focus. “There can’t be an empty chair 18 months from now when my daughter graduates,” he insists.

Filmmaking 101 puts the drama on the clock, and in this case, the vehicle (happily) fails. The silent antagonist of this story loses most of its steam in the face of a man who is just too big to fail.

More than words, we see Ryan going to great lengths to signify that there’s no giving in. At the outset of his diagnosis, he climbs Mt Fuji, and his smile plastered across the breathtaking Luke Wyatt cinematography, our hopes go just as high.

Anything is possible – especially since the Japanese summit isn’t even his greatest height. Under the direction of Ryan and his wife Niki, CancerBlows gathered some of the greatest trumpet players in the world to raise funds and awareness. Doc Severinsen from The Tonight Show, Lee Loughnane from Chicago, multiple Grammy winner Arturo Sandoval and Rashawn Ross of the Dave Matthews Band are among the players that joined the party, without hesitation, in 2015.

The horns, the strings and the symphony almost crash through the fourth wall. But the boundless camaraderie makes the sound secondary, and the light shining brightest in this universe is Ryan.

Until the darkness gets its say, and back to the present, the numbers bode poorly for his condition. Worried for the first time, Ryan is just as human as the rest of us and so is his family. On the other hand, the life force inside Ryan can’t be contained and gives his family the rock they need to rest upon.

Of course, Ryan doesn’t let the foundation end at his family. Despite the elevated uncertainty, the music, the activism and the sheer will to experience life continues to take precedence. But all good things – like this film – must end. No doubt, you will feel the weight, and in this, Ryan’s hope provides the message. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.