14 user 18 critic

A Necessary Death (2008)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 8 March 2008 (USA)
"Documentary Filmmaker looking for suicidal individual to follow from first preparation to final act." Cut from 142 video tapes, this project sheds light on the tragedy following the infamous Internet ad.


Daniel Stamm


Daniel Stamm
2 wins. See more awards »




Credited cast:
G.J. Echternkamp ... Gilbert
Matthew Tilley Matthew Tilley ... Matt
Valerie Hurt ... Valerie
Michael Traynor ... Michael
Konima Parkinson-Jones ... Konima
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shelley Isaacs Shelley Isaacs ... Grieving Mother
Thomas Moses Thomas Moses ... Cliff Bookends
Talmadge Ragan ... Ellen Radel
Pamela Salem Pamela Salem ... Matt's Mother
Doris Jung Usui ... Suicidal Wife


"Documentary Filmmaker looking for suicidal individual to follow from first preparation to final act." Cut from 142 video tapes, this project sheds light on the tragedy following the infamous Internet ad.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller


Not Rated

Did You Know?


[first lines]
Gilbert: All right, so apparently they erased my ad off the internet.
Michael: Well, I don't really know what the terms of use are, but it says here, flagged and removed.
Gilbert: [reading] Conduct: You agree not to post or otherwise make available content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, pornographic, libelous, and harasses, debases, or is hateful towards... well, I don't think any of these things apply. Unless they're claiming it's unlawful. But I'm just gonna re-post it...
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References I Love Lucy (1951) See more »

User Reviews

Peculiar, Disturbing Film
15 March 2008 | by JustCuriositySee all my reviews

A Necessary Death had its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX. It's hard to know what to think of a feature film that appears to be intentionally passing itself off to audiences as a documentary about the making of a student film on about a person planning to commit suicide. Much of the audience - myself included - was confused and thought that the film was an actual documentary. As a documentary, the project would be incredibly startling and disturbing.

As a feature film, the project is creative, but also a bit of gimmicky and somewhat emotional manipulative, because the audience feels like they are being shown something real which is really a complete work of fiction. If the film opens a wider debate about the ethics of suicide and, in this case, the ethics of the euthanasia, that may be positive, but its more likely to lead to a debate about the ethics of film making. Realistically, the film's approach so off-putting and confusing that it is unlikely to get much theatrical distribution. Also, the last third of the film and especially the ending seems a bit overly melodramatic. It feels like the writer/director made the film in an effort to get himself noticed in film circles by doing something creative and out-of-the-box.

Well, he has done that, but I'm not sure if the effort to confuse the line between fact and fiction is a healthy one or not. The film is entertaining, but also a bit disturbing in a way that doesn't necessarily seem particularly constructive. It is asking questions about the ethics of documentary film making, but it is unclear to this observer if they are questions that are particular important ones to ask or to answer.

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

8 March 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Una muerte necesaria See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Brickwall Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


(European Film Market)


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