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Facing Death: Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

A film by Stefan Haupt

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Elisabeth Kübler-Ross devoted her life to death and dying and achieved world fame in the process. She de-stigmatized dying and drew attention to the treatment of the terminally ill. This remarkably intimate film was made when Kübler-Ross lived secluded in the desert, awaiting 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, Kübler-Ross suffered a series of strokes, and finally succumbed on August 24th, 2004.

Conversations with Elisabeth Kübler-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.

What the Critics are Saying

"Powerful and thoughtful... recommended!"- Video Librarian

"An excellent resource and valuable document." - The Bulletin of the History of Medicine

"Wonderfully done - a work of true quality. Everything blends together to make a beautiful film and a remarkable story of a true pioneer."
- Dana G. Cable, Hood College, in the Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care

"A marvelous look at the forces that shaped Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and her life’s work."
- Journal of Psychosocial Oncology

"The foremost authority in the field of death, dying and transition... it might well be said that she invented the field." - Health World Online

Recommended Reading

On Death and Dying by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

On Life after Death by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Features and Specifications

Bonus materials:
  • About Grief & Bereavement
  • Selected Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Quotations
  • Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Bibliography
  • Filmmaker Biography
Format: DVD
Release Year: 2003
Running Time: 98 minutes
Color: Color
Language: English

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