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Harlem's own Isaiah Owens, proprietor of the Owens Funeral Home -- just a few blocks away from the Maysles Cinema on Malcolm X Blvd -- and his family are the focus of this thoughtful and moving cinematic portrait by New York filmmaker Turner. Growing up, Owens felt like an outcast for his interest in death and its rituals. Today, however, he is beloved for a gentle, practical approach to "homegoings" at a time when discussions of death are taboo and the undertaking profession dominated by impersonal big business. Venturing behind the scenes of a much feared and misunderstood field, this moving film examines the rituals of African American funerals and the approach that Owens takes to his craft, one of the few that black Americans could enter into freely after slavery. Combining cinéma vérité with personal interviews, Homegoings paints a portrait of Harlem's the dearly departed and the man who serves them. (c) Maysles

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Critic Reviews for Homegoings

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1)

  • Homegoings, Christine Turner's exquisitely tender documentary about a funeral director, is one of those rare opportunities to go toward the thing we fear most - death - and realize how much joy and comfort there is in it, when handled with grace and care.

    Jun 26, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Wistful look at core institution of the Black community featuring the sweet and slightly off-kilter proprietor of a Harlem funeral parlor.

    Jun 24, 2013 | Full Review…

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