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A universal experience whether or not we can admit it, death is the sole counterpart to life. From the moment we take our first breath, death is our only guaranteed experience. This is something Stephen Jenkinson not only understands but something he loves. And he wants you to feel the same way. Griefwalker, a feature length documentary by Tim Wilson, sets its lens on Jenkinson in an unforgettable exploration of death phobia as a culture.
Stephen Jenkinson, a Harvard educated theologian, is one of Canada’s leading palliative care educators. Also considered a philosopher, woodsman, boatsman, and bard, Jenkinson travels throughout Canada providing grief counseling. He rejects the notion of acceptance, deeming it too neutral a disposition. He insists the one true answer is an embrace of death. In order to love life, we need to love death.
Filmmaker and friend Tim Wilson presents Jenkinson with an unclouded eye. Appearing onscreen together, their relationship is complex and occasionally combative. Reverent and respectful but clearly obsessed with death, Jenkinson is an enigmatic figure who can easily shift from talkative to terse. Captured with a cinematic eye, this lyrical, haunting documentary exhibits an unparalleled understanding of mortality.
Runtime: 70 minutes