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We don't know how. We don't know when. But death comes for us all. To be human is to wrestle with this truth and with the great unanswered question: How do we live with death in our eye? To borrow from Dylan Thomas (whose poem opens the film): Do we go gently or raging against the dying light? Or between these two extremes? Do we depart with equanimity or with anger? With clenched fists or more commonly with denial? Or do we see death as something to be fought and even possibly conquered, a challenge increasing pursued by some of the brightest scientific minds. Finally, what are the stories we tell ourselves as we go into the night - or into the light? "Awakening: Portraits of Life and Death" features fascinating, unexpected voices from various walks of life, old and young, believers and unbelievers, dying and healthy, well-known and obscure. For them death is no longer an abstraction. Whether through a dire prognosis, the imminence of their own death, the loss of a loved one, a ...
Be prepared for a lot of flowery narration (including the obligatory Dylan Thomas poem, and a lot of generic comments about attitudes toward death, etc.) that give the impression the director wanted to impart some "gravitas" to the proceedings. I suppose they didn't feel the subject of death carried enough weight on it's own.
There are a series of interviews/comments by various people discussing their experience with (a relative's, their own impending, etc) or views about death, and philosophizing endlessly about same. There are a few interesting commentators, such as Maajid Nawaz, a reformed Islamist extremest who now runs a counter-extremism think tank, but, overall, the majority are not that compelling, and their thoughts are so common that there wasn't a need to put them on film.
What you have here is a documentary made by someone who wishes they were directing narrative films, and thus tries to imbue a sense of Great Significance.
In case you thought it might be a focus, only one subject discusses a near-death experience.
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