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PBS Announces Premiere Of 'Homegoings' (Doc Exploring African American Funeral Traditions)

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
April 23, 2013 1:50 PM
2 Comments
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Homegoings

We first alerted you to Christine Turner's feature documentary Homegoings, in late 2011, when it was one of 10 projects selected to receive a total of $150,000 in completion grants from the Tribeca Documentary Fund.

Turner's seemingly fascinating Homegoings...

... explores the African American funeral home, a 150 year-old institution that is now vanishing. Told through the eyes of a Harlem funeral director, Isaiah Owens, and the families he serves, this film tells the intimate stories of families who have lost loved ones and the passionate man behind their funerals.

Just over a year later, in February of this year, the film had its World Premiere at the 2013 Documentary Fortnight at MoMA, in the International Selections section.

The film is also part of MoMA Selects: POV, an homage to PBS’ longest-running showcase for independent documentary film, with a special selection of films from the series’ past 25 years. 

And it's on PBS' POV series that it'll make it's broadcast TV premiere, meaning all of you can finally see it!

More from the press release:

Through the eyes of funeral director Isaiah Owens, the beauty and grace of African-American funerals are brought to life. Filmed at Owens Funeral Home in New York City’s historic Harlem neighborhood, Homegoings takes an up-close look at the rarely seen world of undertaking in the black community, where funeral rites draw on a rich palette of tradition, history and celebration. Combining cinéma vérité with intimate interviews and archival photographs, the film paints a portrait of the dearly departed, their grieving families and a man who sends loved ones “home.” Homegoings is a moving portrait of a man and a people—and of the faith, hope and history that sustain them in the face of death.

It's been announced today that Christine Turner’s debut feature documentary will make its national broadcast premiere on Monday, June 24, 2013, at 10 pm (check local listings), kicking off the 26th season of the award-winning PBS series POV. 

When I was 13, both of my grandmothers passed away within two weeks of one another,” says filmmaker Christine Turner. “My mom’s mother, who was Chinese-American, happened to be Methodist and was cremated, which was very atypical for traditional Chinese funerals. My father’s mother, who was African-American and Catholic, had an open-casket funeral—the first I had ever attended, leaving an indelible impression on me. Whatever our beliefs, death is something we all must face, and yet it is so often a taboo subject. With Homegoings, I wanted to open a conversation on death in a way that captured grief and sadness, but also the humor and the sense of relief that I sometimes observed from behind the camera.

To stay up to date, *like* the film's Facebook page HERE, or visit: www.homegoings.com.

Check out the contemplative trailer below, and mark your calendars - June 24, 10pm:

 

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2 Comments

  • Katie | April 23, 2013 3:12 PMReply

    What a fascinating topic. Can't wait to see this!

  • OLIVER | April 23, 2013 2:11 PMReply

    Now this looks great. Great subject. Beautiful camera work. Strong narrative. LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING THIS.

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