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Patrick Knight's heart disease does not stand in the way of his success
First film and immediately 19 international prizes in the closet.
Despite heart disease, Patrick Knight (58) wins tons of international film awards: "I'm not afraid of death, but I want to remain immortal like ancient pharaohs".
ANTWERP The now 58-year-old Hoboken resident Patrick Knight has been making music for 35 years and has scored mainly abroad. Now he is venturing for the first time on the film 'Ankh', which he himself recorded, directed and provided with a soundtrack and has won no fewer than nineteen (!) international film awards. The film, inspired by ancient Egypt, is about the transience of life and the need to leave something behind. “I never wanted money or fame, but I do want to leave a footprint.”
Boy George impersonator
Patrick who exactly? Patrick Knight (58) - his father was a British soldier who met his Belgian mother after the liberation in 1945 - has been involved in music for 35 years. He then became known in Antwerp as a Boy George impersonator and drag queen performer in competitions such as Playback and the iconic Soundmix show. With the band Gravity Noir he plunged into the underground scene, but his music did not catch on in Belgium.
Overseas, where he lent his voice to the British rave formation GTO in the early nineties, resulting in the international club hit 'Listen To The Rhythm Flow'. Afterwards, he mainly performed covers and remixes of well-known hits with Gravity Noir and performed regularly. Until disaster struck.
Because since his childhood, something turned out to be wrong with Patrick. During sports he often became unwell. Doctors looked towards epilepsy, but Patrick repeatedly tested negative for it. At a later age, Patrick himself noticed that it might be his heart and after a simple cardio test in the hospital, all alarm bells suddenly went off.
According to the Middelheim Hospital, Patrick's heart defect was too complex to treat. At the UZA, they tried in vain to burn away abnormal nerves towards his heart. He eventually ended up with a cardiologist who had him tested for Brugada Syndrome. Two times positive. Brugada is a genetic disease that increases the risk of sudden heart failure. It occurs in about one in two thousand people.
“I was working as a tram driver in Antwerp at the time, but I was immediately taken off the labour market,” Patrick recalls. “I was implanted with an ICD, a device that intervenes in the event of dangerous cardiac arrhythmias. It has saved me several times. I must avoid all stress, heavy emotions and exertion. I spent the Christmas period with my family in England. The ICD then had to save me three times in a few days. I wouldn't be able to tell this story without it.”
The life expectancy of people with Brugada is much lower than the average. “But I'm not afraid to die,” emphasizes Patrick. “I do want to leave something behind after I'm gone. My career has never been about money or fame, but I do want to leave a footprint.”
Patrick now leaves that footprint with his film 'Ankh', with images of Patrick's honeymoon in Egypt in 2007 with his husband Luc. “I have been restoring, cutting and assembling those old cassette rolls for fifteen years,” says Patrick. “It's kind of the icing on the cake of my career. I also wrote the soundtrack myself. It is not so much that the music reinforces the images, but the other way around, the images in Ankh reinforce the music.”
Very symbolically, Patrick dies after just one second in the storyline of his film. A desperate Luc goes to search for his husband in Egypt and accidentally brings him back to life. The viewer is then taken on a journey in ancient Egypt through the eyes of a resurrected Patrick, who undergoes a complete transformation.
Ankh has already won nineteen (!) international film awards and another eight nominations from Brussels to the United States, India and Singapore. “Like the ancient pharaohs, I hope that my name can live on in this way in the afterlife,” concludes Patrick.
'Ankh' - not coincidentally the ancient Egyptian symbol for life - will premiere in Antwerp on March 18 in the Klappei film house and on June 25 in the Fakkeltheater. Ticket sales go to the volunteers of both culture houses.