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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Philosophy > Biography > Facing Death – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (2003/First Run Features)

Facing Death – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (2003/First Run Features)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Documentary: B-



A good basic “deal with death 101” documentary by Stefan Haupt, Facing Death – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (2003) gives the basic upfront philosophy of the innovative writer about the state of living including all of her theories.  By taking the stigma from death added by religion and other superstitious sources, her work has been the most important since the Existentialist philosophy movement in dealing with the subject and her influence has reached al the way into pop culture in films like Alien 3.


This work does not realize that latter point, but does have interviews, a long biographical look at the woman and how Of Death & Dying (1969) became a landmark international hit book.  During the course of this documentary, we see Ross herself in her final years (she passed away on 8/24/04) and further humanizes the author who did more for humanization (even if you are religious, which does not necessarily contradict her work) than almost any other writer of the 20th Century.  Her work lives on and if you have never read her or heard of her, this is a great place to star.


The letterboxed 1.78 X 1 image is clean, colorful and not bad for not being anamorphically enhanced, though we doubt this is an HD shoot.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is slightly stereo, offers captions where necessary (they go to Zurich) and the combination is engaging enough.  Extras include a Ross bibliography, filmmaker text biography, select Ross quotes and a piece “About Grief & Bereavement” that will make you want to read more.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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