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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Rachael Lewis-Krisky at 11:25PM   |  2 comments
A Will for the Woods

It took a film about death to remind me how beautiful life truly is. A Will for the Woods took on a topic that makes people cringe and cry, in a beautiful and in-depth way.

I was hooked by the intensely deep connection the film builds with cancer victim Clark Wang as he prepares for his own inevitable passing. He is a bubbly person with quirky humor, a bit of breaking out into dance and a loving heart of gold. Through Wang’s story the documentary deals with problems in the funeral industry and the green burial movement

At first I felt torn by the ethical issues in the film; the documentary itself hinged on the inevitable outcome of Wang’s death. As the film continued I wondered, is this a form of exploitation? However in the Q&A with filmmakers Amy Brown, Tony Hale, and Brian Wilson, they informed the audience they had only started working with Wang once he received “the ticking clock”. Though heartbreaking, this alleviated concerns as the filmmakers were not taking advantage of Wang’s story, but instead sharing its power.

I cried. My mom cried. Everyone cried. During the quieter moments of this touching documentary I could hear snuffling and weeping. But as tears streamed down my face, I was reminded of the picturesque magic in our world. Though death is a looming force for all people, we can still live and love together. It may sound trite, but we all have our moments.


2 Comments

I should've taken a box of tissues with me to this screening. It was a beautiful story of how people are beginning to explore new ways to leave a mark on earth with a natural, green burial.

Like you, I was worried the film was perhaps making a spectacle out of someone's personal tragedy. However, as you mention, it was clear Clark wanted to share his story.

I really hope this movie reaches more people.

This film was not what I expected it to be, but in the best way possible.

I thought it was going to have a much more expository mode, focusing on facts and figures related to the funeral industry. The character-driven focus really surprised me.

If I had watched this film without the filmmakers there, I think I would've left upset about the ethical issues you discussed. I hope that the filmmakers are able to incorporate some of the points that set me at ease into screenings where they cannot be present.



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