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Facebook fulfills movie request from grieving Missouri man whose cry went viral

  • The Kansas City Star
  • Published Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, at 2:47 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, at 6:23 p.m.

You cannot watch this father’s emotional plea to Facebook without crying. And we suspect that the folks at Facebook reacted the same way, for they have given John Berlin what he asked for – his dead son’s Facebook movie.

Berlin posted the movie to YouTube Friday evening. Watch it below.

Facebook created the customized movies for users on Tuesday to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Set to instrumental music, the short clips are a walk down memory lane for each user, showing when they first joined Facebook, their most-liked posts and some of the photos they’ve shared.

Berlin, who lives in Arnold, Jefferson County, posted a tearful, 84-second plea on YouTube and Facebook Wednesday morning.

"You ever do something crazy because you just don't know what to do anymore? Well, that's what I'm doin’ right now," an emotional Berlin says in the video.

"I'm callin’ out to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. You've been putting out these new movies, these new one-minute movies that everybody’s been sharing. And I think they’re great. Well, my son passed away Jan. 28, 2012. And we can’t access his Facebook account ...

“All we want to do is see his movie ... I know it's a shot in the dark, but I don't care. I want to see my son's video. His name's Jesse Berlin. So please help me. I appreciate it. Thanks.”

Berlin told CNN that his son, a guitarist in a band called Fivefold, died of natural causes in his sleep, possibly of a viral infection. He was 21.

A Facebook staffer saw Berlin’s video on Wednesday and passed it around the company on an internal network.

"With the number of people using our service, it's often very difficult to act on behalf of one. But John's story and emotion moved us to take action – so we did," a Facebook spokesperson told CNN.

The company called Berlin and promised to make a personalized “A Look Back” video using Jesse’s Facebook posts.

"I just wanted a piece of him," Berlin told CNN. “These (Facebook) videos really touched me. And every time Jesse would pop up (in one of them), I was choking back tears. I just wanted so desperately to see how his video would turn out."

Berlin’s plea to Facebook has received more than 2 million views and nearly 6,000 comments on YouTube.

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