Zen & the Art of Dying is a documentary portrait of Zenith (Zen) Virago, Australia's premiere 'deathwalker' whose personal and professional experiences challenge our core assumptions about life and dissolve our fears around death. Her work models a growing international Natural Death Care Movement that invites each of us to reexamine and reclaim a more active role in how we live, love, and die.
Zenith Virago, the community of Byron Shire, Australia
Lovely, lovely doc about Zenith Virago, an Australian practitioner of alternative funerals. Yet through her story and vocation, we find out that there is also much here about life. This doc captures everything we want to know about this woman and what she does, in a very loving and considered way. Far from being depressing or sad, I found solace here for grief I am facing and have faced. I also had no idea that you could have funerals like this or control the burial process (or paint the casket!). In an age when the funeral business has insulated us from life's other great passage/journey, I think it is vital that we find ways in which to reconnect with this process and also ways to move through our grief. We are given so few tools with which to process death, or grieve in a clear way. This film is in the LBGT section and I am so glad that I always check it for movies, even though I am not an LBGT person, for some of the best films are in this genre. And many are only incidentally related to being gay, as is this doc. So watch and enjoy this film, it is time well spent in contemplation and finding out our options when the time comes. And the backdrop of beautiful Byron Shire doesn't hurt, either!
This is about a woman in Australia that helps arrange funerals for folks that don't want a typical funeral. There aren't movies or documentaries for me to compare this to, therefore I'm being generous and rating it a five star. Personally, I'm a loner, don't like groups of people and therefore don't care for any funerals. But for people that need a sense of closure, this may be a better way to have funerals. At least, it is good to have different options, and this film gives a few. Countries and states may have different regulations about funerals and burials, and that's why a woman such as this is good to have for informing people about different choices.