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Facing Death

Facing Death

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross devoted her life to death and dying and achieved world fame in the process. Through her strong commitment to the subject, she has done much to de-stigmatize dying and to draw attention to the treatment of the terminally ill. This remarkably intimate film was produced in 2002, when Kublerr-Ross lived secluded in the desert, and was awaiting - as she says - her own death, on the verge of the transition she researched so passionately.

Her story is a remarkable one. Born in Zurich in 1926 as a 2-pound triplet, she studied medicine in defiance of her parents' wishes and struggled for recognition as a psychiatrist in the United States. In 1969 she achieved international fame through her work with terminally ill patients in Chicago and her book On Death and Dying. This initial success was followed by countless workshops and lecture tours around the world, and the establishment of a healing center in Virginia, which was destroyed by arsonists in 1994. In the late Nineties, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross suffered a series of strokes, and finally succumbed on August 24th, 2004.

Conversations with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in Arizona form the core of the film. She looks back on her life, describes her childhood and her work, and explains how she herself faces aging and impending death. Interviews with her sisters, friends and colleagues, as well as extensive archival material provide a comprehensive look into the life and work of this extraordinary woman.

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