Director: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman
I was surprised that Netflix made a film lasting only 40 minutes, but after I watched it I understood why. It would indeed be unnecessary to broadcast human suffering and pain of their loved ones for much longer.
The film is heavy, but at the same time I am glad I watched because it was made in a beautiful way. A way that brings hope to those suffering, their families and everyone who watched this film. The film postulates that death is not necessarily a bad thing, because a place we go to might just be a better one.
The film also presents a hospice project and speaks with activists, medical professionals, as well as patients and their families. Some of the conversations were painful, and it was moving to see one Irani family refusing to let Mitra, wife, mother, daughter and sister, go. They did not want to consider hospice as they thought that would be an acceptance that it is an end. The same was with other patients who also did not want to go to hospice, except for one Asian man who refused further treatment and went to hospice of his own will. While other people happily died in their homes or in the hospital, he happily died surrounded by friendly hospice staff. I suppose that this film is sending a message that it is OK to chose how we die and that every choice is absolutely fine. We indeed do not need to be confined with social expectations on what is right or wrong. At least not when we are approaching the end of our journey on this Earth.
The way film showed how patients and their families deal with deadly illnesses provided additional meaning to their deaths. They were not alone and they died surrounded by their loved ones, with Netflix filming their most intimate moments to share hope. That hope is a legacy of those people, and it was remarkable they and their families agreed to share their feelings and speak in this film.
One statement from the beginning of the film stayed with me though. It is indeed the case that people who are dying think how they would like to live, while people who are not suffering from deadly illness think how they would like to die. Indeed, perhaps we should all start just living our lives and leave decisions on death for when the time comes, and then chose as we like.
Thank you for reading.