Posted on August 9, 2019 at 4:00 AM
Alternate Endings: Six New Ways to Die in America offers a fascinating look at the varied ways Americans are choosing to both find meaning and celebrate life as it comes to an end. The documentary is available from HBO starting Wednesday, August 14.
With attitudes about death and end-of-life choices rapidly changing, 2018 was the first time more Americans chose cremation over more expensive, traditional burials, disrupting the $16 billion a year funeral industry. As the baby boomer generation approaches death, more and more people are rethinking the ways end of life is recognized and are deciding to take control of what will happen when they die. Touching and heartfelt, the documentary spotlights a subject some might rather avoid, and presents it in a positive and thought-provoking manner – featuring stories of empowerment instead of avoidance.
Alternate Endings tells six stories of people nearing death and of family members of the recently deceased, who have chosen non-traditional end-of-life options and remembrances, from celebrations of life and living wakes, to green burials, extraterrestrial burials and more. Profoundly intimate and illuminating, the film explores what it means to be near death, either from age or terminal illness, and captures the healing power of honoring, giving thanks, and staying true to loved ones who have passed away.