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photo Facing Death
By Stefan Haupt

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross devoted her life to death and dying and achieved world fame in the process. Through her strong commitment to the subject, she has done much to de-stigmatize dying and to draw attention to the treatment of the terminally ill. This remarkably intimate film was produced in 2002, when Küblerr-Ross lived secluded in the desert, and was awaiting - as she says - her own death, on the verge of the transition she researched so passionately.

Her story is a remarkable one. Born in Zurich in 1926 as a 2-pound triplet, she studied medicine in defiance of her parents' wishes and struggled for recognition as a psychiatrist in the United States. In 1969 she achieved international fame through her work with terminally ill patients in Chicago and her book On Death and Dying. This initial success was followed by countless workshops and lecture tours around the world, and the establishment of a healing center in Virginia, which was destroyed by arsonists in 1994. In the late Nineties, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross suffered a series of strokes, and finally succumbed on August 24th, 2004.

Conversations with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in Arizona form the core of the film. She looks back on her life, describes her childhood and her work, and explains how she herself faces aging and impending death. Interviews with her sisters, friends and colleagues, as well as extensive archival material provide a comprehensive look into the life and work of this extraordinary woman.

57 minutes
© 2002
Purchase $248 DVD
Order No. QA-544
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Reviews
"An excellent resource [and] valuable document." The Bulletin of the History of Medicine

Awards & Conference Screenings
FREDDIE International Health & Medical Media Awards, 2004 Finalist, "Coping"
Swiss Film Prize, 2004 Nominee, Best Documentary
DocAviv International Documentary Film Festival, 2003
International Scientific Film Festival (Hungary), 2003

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Exit: Profiles the EXIT organization, which for over twenty years has counseled and accompanied the terminally-ill and severely handicapped towards a death of their choice.

Mortal Lessons: Follows the stories of two extraordinary women, diagnosed with end stage cancer, who are facing death head on, determined to lead richer, more rewarding lives in the time that they have. Threaded through their narratives are the perspectives of hospice workers, funeral directors, bereavement counselors and others who deal with death on a daily basis.

Pioneers of Hospice: Explores the development of hospice and palliative care, focusing on the legacy of the founders of the modern hospice movement: Dame Cicely Saunders, Florence Wald, the late Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, and Balfour Mount.

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