End of Life

John Bruce and Paweł Wojtasik / 2017 / 91 / United States

A deeply moving and revelatory documentary, End of Life from filmmakers John Bruce and Paweł Wojtasik captures the last years of five individuals in the process of dying. Intimately shot for over four years in hospital rooms, homes and work spaces, and employing an immersive, participatory approach, the documentary allows for viewers to reflect on their own feelings and responses to the human body and mortality. Yet, throughout, End of Life remains a surprising and beautiful film. “In our culture, almost everyone fears death,” says Ram Dass, the noted spiritual teacher and author, and one of this documentary’s subjects. By approaching death as closely as possible, Bruce and Wojtasik’s extraordinary achievement here is to disrupt centuries of Western thought and allow us to see the unique quality of life in its final phase.

  • "End of Life captures how our last moments can be filled with wonder, terror, and even bursts of creativity and humor…. Filmmakers Bruce and Wojtasik [are] concerned with how the cinema can encapsulate such a pivotal, intimate event, doing so with a keen sense of beauty."

    — Hollywood Reporter
  • "Viscerally intense, both in its emotion and its intellectual rigor."

    — Artforum
  • "Extraordinary. A beautifully spare piece of filmmaking... abundant in generosity and endlessly rewarding.”

    — BOMB Magazine
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