Created in collaboration between multi-disciplinary artist, Thomas Day, and poet, Eleanor Jackson, the film blends footage of the sacred Ganges river in Varanasi, India, with contemporary recollections of loss.
Thomas Day, the film’s director, has an ongoing fascination with the way that humans relate to death and dying, and visited city of Varanasi in early 2012. The cremation grounds (smashan ghats) along the Ganges river are highly sacred places; bodies are brought there daily to be placed on wooden funeral pyres, which burn throughout the day and night, all lit from the same sacred fire source. According to Hindu belief, a person who is cremated on the banks of the river and has their ashes scattered into the water, will attain Moksha or release from the cycle of suffering.
Recently awarded the 2012 Queensland Poetry Festival Filmmakers Challenge, a.Rawlings (Arts Queensland Poet in Residence) described the film as follows:
“Eleanor Jackson’s hush illuminates pre-apocalypse in “Just Before You Died,” directed by Doubting Thomas. Intimacy is constructed through continuous shot twinned with compelling narrative — both focused with care on the poem’s human subject. Voyage simulates relationship, swollen in its tender final woo and woe. Him is you, him we love, and all the more as we move into this gift of a poetry film.”
The film has been featured on the Sydney Writers Festival App, Wunce magazine and Slam TV and screened at Karuna Hospice, Brisbane.
Title: Just before you died
Film: Doubting Thomas
Poetry: Eleanor Jackson
Duration: 4 mins
Premiered: Queensland Poetry Festival 2013