To fear death, gentlemen, is no other than to think oneself wise
when one is not, to think one knows what one does not know. No
one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings
for a man, yet men fear it as if they knew that it is the greatest of evils.
The Spanish film, Truman (2017), received a rare 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating. It is the story of middle-aged Julian who has been diagnosed with lung cancer. He has gone through treatment only to have the cancer return. He makes the decision to undergo no further treatment and to allow his body to take its natural course. The film is a beautiful dramatization of the steps Julian takes to prepare for his own death. The big one being – finding a home for his dog, Truman.
The Israeli film, The Farewell Party (2015), has an impressive 95% rating from Rotten Tomatoes.
Unlike Truman, The Farewell Party presents all olders living in an assistant living situation. This is a film that addresses head-on the subject of facilitating the deaths of those who are in pain and going through a dragged-out painful dying process. It does it tastefully and with plenty of humor. The film opens with a woman's dying husband begging her to facilitate his death. The film reflects what a hard decision this is but she along with three cronies follow through on his desire. And the group goes on to help others as well.
The anti-aging youth-obsessed culture we reside in continues to put death and dying in a locked closet. So refreshing that Spain and Israel have each made a film that honestly presents this topic and gives us the opportunity to explore our own relationship and beliefs around death and dying.
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