"The Last Lullaby" 30 minute documentary film

A cinematic lullaby to gently approach and access ideas, imaginations and questions around end of life.

A resource by Sophie Dia Pegrum

display description

Pointing a camera into the sun is as taboo as actively envisioning the end of life. Death cannot be known and the human imagination is the only map. Despite the rich history of anthropological research into death, ritual and religion, there is less on dying as a stage of life, and even less on how humans imagine the unknowable.

“The Last Lullaby” is a cine-exploration of some of humankind’s deepest existential questions, guided by Blessing, a soul midwife and threshold singer whose lifework has been to gently chaperone people to their last breath. The film breaks taboo by gazing into the sun, raising the question of whether facing death can be an exercise in creativity.

Filmmaker: Sophie Dia Pegrum

Featuring: Blessing (Presence Tarika Brandt)

Film TRT: 30 Mins

Contact filmmaker for screener

My Inspiration

I was once seated next to a woman on a plane who told me about her work as a threshold singer. I was fascinated by this volunteer and her stories about her work with the dying and the conversation never left me. Years later, at a sacred singing event, I was struck by the sound of Blessing's voice. I asked her if I could make a film about the work she does at bedside. Over several months, during the pandemic, the project evolved into a 30 minute documentary as part of my Master's thesis in Visual Anthropology at USC. "The Last Lullaby" was partly a biographical film, about one woman and her life work, but it is one which I hoped would create a space for reflection and contemplation, something I felt was deeply needed in such times.

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