IDFA Review: Much Ado About Dying

As a society, we are both living longer than ever before and also much more likely to have chosen to live somewhere far away from home. This creates a number of problems in itself. Traditional family support structures are less likely to still be in place. At the same time, the social care sector is on the brink of falling apart. This means the job of caring for elderly loved ones once again falls to family members.

This is the case for filmmaker Simon Chambers. Despite creating a life for himself in India, he feels compelled to return to London when his uncle informs him that he’s dying. His sisters are, apparently, far too bossy. David used to be a teacher and Shakespearian actor, bringing elements of the stage into his own highly cluttered home. Their relationship is captured in Much Ado About Dying.

It soon becomes clear that reports of David’s death have been greatly exaggerated, by the once star himself. In Much Ado About Dying, David takes centre stage in the countdown to his demise. He is a born showman, which makes his nephew’s documentary highly entertaining. It is also deadly serious. Considering how we address elderly care as a society. Much Ado About Dying is the best kind of documentary. It will make you laugh and cry. It will also make you pause for thought.

Much Ado About Dying screens at IDFA.

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