JUST BEFORE DEATH
Anne Regitze Wivel / Denmark / 2023 / 73 min / World Premiere
Veteran director Anne Regitze Wivel has created a beautiful and life-affirming memoir about the indomitable staff at Bispebjerg Hospital – and about the last time in her and her husband Svend Auken’s lives.
Fourteen years ago, her husband died after a period of illness. The couple spent their last years at Bispebjerg Hospital. Today, Wivel returns to the same hospital to make an autobiographical and reflective film about life and death – and to portray the staff who work in this particular difficult field. What is it like to go to work every day to care for people whose lives are running out? What thoughts do you have? And how do you make the last chapter of another person’s life a good, vibrant time? Doctors and nurses share their thoughts on the philosophical, personal and practical dimensions of their work when we sit in on their meetings. Wivel herself keeps a diary of the last time in the couple’s life together, returning to her notes in a graceful and life-affirming narrative where past and present mirror each other.