Embodied Project

Embodied is a short film in which terminally ill subjects recount experiences in a human body. The film aims to create a legacy and a message of presence.

A resource by Samuel Wright Smith

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Seeking terminally ill subjects to participate in an experimental, animated documentary about their experiences in a human body.

Embodied is a short, experimental film. It consists of personal stories shared by terminally ill people throughout their dying process. These specific, scrapbook-snapshot moments are grounded in subjects’ bodily experiences

Our body is our window.

Through a casual but open-hearted conversation, we hope to encourage subjects to recount meaningful sensory experiences. The goal of the film is to create a meditation on presence and appreciation.

In addition to audio recordings and limited super-8 portraits of subjects, Embodied will primarily be told through seamlessly transitioning experimental multimedia animation. 

Though Embodied is about death, it is about life. It is a celebration.

This is ultimately an opportunity for connection. It is a chance to appreciate and to share a life embodied in all its pain, pleasure, emptiness and fullness.

Read more at samwsmith.net/embodied

My Inspiration

When I was sixteen, my mother died. Through art, I have found healing. I am now interested in legacy work, and honoring the terminally ill in our community. I came up with Embodied on a backpacking trip. I found myself very much aware of my body. The way that it felt after I ate food, or the way my breathing affected my mind became clear without the myriad of normal, daily distractions. Shortly after, I had an experience with a friend's terminally ill grandmother. Though she was in pain, I was so very impressed by her presence. There were no more appointments. Nowhere to be. I began to see death as an ultimate relinquishing of bodily control. In this loss of attachment to the physical form, perhaps there is a unique perspective available to celebrate a life embodied.

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