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Death is taboo -- it affects all of us but is rarely talked about, outside of sensationalized movies, etc. I'm thinking somebody should make a television series which would bring death into the public eye in a helpful, enlightening, and ultimately comforting way. The show would always begin the same
way (a subject of the show is dying) and ends the same way (a subject of the show dies) but all the stuff in between changes depending on any number of variables -- one episode is about an old person dying of natural causes, one is about somebody who finds out they have a very short time to live, one is about somebody who dies alone, one is about an extremely wealthy person who's going to die, an extremely poor person, etc -- each subject will have very different insights, reflections, and problems, and will inevitably be embraced (or not) by others in very different ways.
You'd have to be very careful about finding appropriate subjects for the show, but it could be done by establishing strong relationships with charities, hospitals, etc -- might even lead them to more donations down the road. I'm guessing there are many people out there who would share some of their last moments on television in order to help people deal with death, and in order to leave a bit of their own legacy behind.
Timothy Leary's Dead
One contribution to the genre: the documentary about the life and death of Timothy Leary (after learning he has prostate cancer.) Ends with his head being cryogenically frozen. [jutta, Jan 10 2001]
Lightning Over Water (Nick's Film)
Semi-documentary project of film makers Wim Wenders and Nicholas Ray in the last months before Ray's death from cancer. [jutta, Jan 10 2001]
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||This should be a good documentary done in collaboration with the person that is filmed, not a reality show. (The reality shows always involve some amount of setting people up or arranging things behind a person's back; I don't think that would be appropriate or dignified.)
||Yes....could be of confort to some. Possibly of more realistic value to others when compared to the series "Crossing Over" (A quick tongued smart ass convinces people he is talking to their dead relatives).
||Look at the affliation here in the US with ER and other hospital shows. Historically, there may have been over 100 Million deaths acted out in film....so there's no doubt people have a curious obsession with the grim reaper.
||There's no doubt it would be watched. I would be most interested if it provided some "insightful thoughts" .....revelations....
In that sense....it would be probably the "best medicine" for those actually going through such ultimately trying times.
||Personnally....I come from a big family...and I've gone to enough funerals...and had enough real life situations to satify me for several lifetimes. So I simply wouldn't tune in.
||I actually said to my wife recently.....I'm tired of going to these funerals. We need a wedding to break up the action.