News 13 APR 2017

"Funeral (On the Art of Dying)" at a EFP and Metrograph new showcase

Several European documentaries will be highlighted, including Funeral (On the Art of Dying) by Boris Lehman

This first collaboration between European Film Promotion and New York's cinema Metrograph is taking shape in a showcase entitled True Stories: New Non-Fiction from Europe, which will take place from May 3 to 7.

The majority of EFP’s 38 member organisations enthusiastically suggested films that push the visual and narrative boundaries of traditional non- fiction filmmaking. The final selection – curated by Metrograph – presents nine productions including four US premieres and three NY premieres.

Funeral (On the Art of Dying), directed by Boris Lehman and produced by Dovfilm, was selected among these nine films. This documentary questions us: How do you film your own death? How do you stage it? Initially this might make you smile, yet this question concerns everyone, even if you’re not a director. Being at an age where I was beginning to pack my bags for the afterlife, I’m preparing to burn my life, to throw away what I’ve collected and accumulated for more than half a century. Books, clothes, films, everything has to go, everything is going to go up in smoke.

The last episode of Lehman’s ongoing "auto-cine-biographic" work Babel, through which Lehman has documented thirty years of his own life, Funeral finds the filmmaker-essayist getting ready for the end, his customary wry humor still very much intact he attends to the business of trying a coffin on for size, preparing for the ceremony, and putting together a brilliant, blazing pyre of worldly possessions. Wistful and wise, the capstone to an awesome feat of ongoing cinematic self-analysis.

EFP President, Martin Schweighofer, and Metrograph’s Artistic Director and Program Director, Jacob Perlin, agree on the selection of theses documentaries: each one, in their own way, transgresses the traditional boundaries of documentary cinema and representing the latest trends in European non-fiction filmmaking.

Wallonie Bruxelles Images is member of the European Film Promotion and supports the True Stories project: New Non-Fiction from Europe.