Recommended Movies

We've compiled here a list of movies to consider for movie screening and discussion events in your community.

Caring at the End of Life

Central to this provocative documentary is the case of a comatose patient, whose family and healthcare team are in conflict over how long to continue with the treatments which are keeping him alive. In making decisions about his care, they confront disturbing ethical questions about patient autonomy vs. the needs of the family, about who is in a position to judge what another person would want, about the role and impact of faith, and about the certainty or fallibility of medical judgment. This moving film focuses on the key roles of nursing staff in patient care and communication. It profiles six severely ill patients who agreed to be a part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's SUPPORT Study on end-of-life care and decision making. Their stories offer no easy answers, but raise many of the key issues faced by patients and those who care for them, including the role of technology, deciding when to use or withdraw life-sustaining treatments, the importance of effective pain management, and the impact of patients' culture and community on care decisions.

Life Before Death

These 50 powerful Short Films are freely available to any pain, palliative care, hospice and end of life health professionals around the world to download here and use for training and advocacy. LIFE Before Death is a documentary project supported by the Lien Foundation, the IASP, the Mayday Fund, the UICC and the Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice. These Short Films feature leaders from the field including Dr Kathleen Foley, Dr Balfour Mount, Dr Betty Ferrell RN, Dr Jim Cleary, Professor Michael Cousins, Dr Henry Ddungu and Dr Charles Von Gunten.

Beginning With the End

“Beginning With the End” is a feature length documentary film that follows the experiences of 16 to 18 year-old high-school students who are given the unusual and extraordinary opportunity to work as trained hospice volunteers.

Being Mortal

FRONTLINE follows renowned New Yorker writer and Boston surgeon Atul Gawande as he explores the relationships doctors have with patients who are nearing the end of life. In conjunction with Gawande's new book, Being Mortal, the film investigates the practice of caring for the dying, and shows how doctors -- himself included -- are often remarkably untrained, ill-suited and uncomfortable talking about chronic illness and death with their patients.

Dying Matters

Dying Matters has produced a number of well received films. These can be used in numerous health and social care training scenarios, as well as in hospices, GP surgeries, care homes, voluntary organisations, community groups - anywhere, in fact, where discussions about end of life planning are appropriate.

Death Makes Life Possible

Death is something that most people fear and don’t want to think about. But is it possible that facing our mortality can inspire us to live our lives more fully?

The film looks at how popular culture deals with the ever-present fear many have about our own mortality. Interviews with mental health experts, cultural leaders, and scientists explore the meaning of death and how we can learn to live without fear. The interviews and evidence presented are interwoven with personal stories of people facing their own death as well as those who report encounters beyond death. The narrative is illustrated with vivid imagery.

Love In Your Own Time

Love in Our Own Time is a documentary on the big things in life: birth, love, and death. Holding a 21st century mirror to who we are, the film follows ordinary Australians, bearing witness to lives beginning and ending, and capturing moments, both simple and sublime, that compose the lives we lead. This is a journey to the heart of what it is to be human, giving us pause to reflect on the lives we lead.

Grief Walker

This documentary introduces us to Stephen Jenkinson, once the leader of a palliative care counselling team at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital. Through his daytime job, he has been at the deathbed of well over 1,000 people. What he sees over and over, he says, is "a wretched anxiety and an existential terror" even when there is no pain. Indicting the practice of palliative care itself, he has made it his life's mission to change the way we die - to turn the act of dying from denial and resistance into an essential part of life.