Film Review: Dead Good

Although much has been lost in the passing of time, what we do know about ancient civilizations is how important death rituals were to them. The Egyptians, Mayans, Sumerians, Incas and Mesopotamians all placed great stock in expediating their journeys to the next/after-life. Burial meant ritual and much of the ‘writings’ which remains pertains to the end of life. This focus persisted around the world and until very recently funerals were as important as weddings.

Today, death has become more business transaction than memorial. Instead of celebrating lives and marking a passing in a special way, we’ve moved towards a conveyor belt mentality. In her documentary, Dead Good, Rehana Rose is hoping to do something to begin to address this. She follows three groups of women dealing with death in modern Britain. Charting the journey from the end of life until after the funeral ceremony.

Driven by her own encounters with grief and loss, Rehana Rose has created an intimate portrait of death and those who sail the ferry across the waters. Somewhere along the line, possibly due to increased life expectancy and medical advancements, the importance of laying friends and family to rest has diminished. Dead Good goes a long way to reminding us about the importance and intimacy of this final act.

Dead Good is out in cinemas on 10 May.

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