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Have Cheetah,Will View #179 – “The Last Days of Extraordinary Lives” (2010)

Its 1:25 pm
sunny

My brother Phillip and I were talking last year and out of the blue he said he was going to link me to his Netflix and Amazon Prime accounts. I think when I told him I was getting rid of cable because its high cost that he felt bad for me and decided to do me a solid.
The funny thing is that I have barely watched anything…I did watch “The Defenders” on Netflix and “The Monster” on Amazon Prime but that is pretty much it as far as movies go.  The cheetah loves watch “Supermarket Sweep”however,I have NO idea how he found out about that show…
So when I found myself awake last night,I decided to surf Amazon and ran into this documentary and decided to watch it at 2 am in the morning.


The premise is quite simple yet brilliant and lovingly filmed by Randy Bacon. He and Shannon Bacon went around the country talking to folks with advanced illnesses and in many cases,their caregivers as well.  In one case,that included the parents of a small girl with cancer.
The folks they interviewed talked about their lives,reflecting on the past,recalling important moments and looking ahead to their oncoming deaths. In the cases of the elderly folks who lived alone,they were like me in the fact they were looking forward it,they miss their spouse or other family members.

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The younger ones or the ones who were married were a lot more afraid of death for various reasons….the primary reason being they didn’t want to leave their husband or wife behind to have to live alone. I know that is the truth because Lori told me that was the hardest part of her knowing she was dying. She was worried for me and I could hear the same emotion and feelings when a husband or wife said the same thing.
Two central themes ran down this film….regret and spiritual hope. Many folks who were interviewed were dying from smoking,they had emphysema and were on oxygen.
While only one man openly expressed regret about his smoking and urged people to quit,he also said he had found his impending death to be wonderful as he had been surrounded by friends and family ever since he knew he was dying.

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Pretty much all the folks interviewed talked about being right with God and how much their faith meant/means to them during this most private of times.
In between the different folks being interviewed,the film makers talk to hospice nurses and a doctor to share their own unique point of view. I have said this more then once,you have to be VERY special to do hospice care because it is the hardest part of medicine,knowing that just about every patient doesn’t have a chance for a cure short of a miracle. Many of the nurses got tears in their eyes when talking about their careers.
One nurse shared how she was taking care of an elderly couple and the husband was fading,his wife was bedside wiping his face. The nurse asked her how long had they been together,the wife answered “Not long”. The nurse thought that perhaps was a second marriage for the both of them and they had married late in life.  The wife,looking at her husband,said “We been married 52 years,not very long at all.” When she said that,I was glad the cheetah was there so I could bury my face in his fur….because I really understood that.

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Some segments were shot in black and white and some were in color,the mixing of the two make for a nice contrast. This can attributed to director Randy Bacon who has shooting professionally since 1985. His camerawork is dynamic and unblinking in its raw and honest capturing of its subjects…well,almost all…the last couple,who were Amish agreed to talk but didn’t wish to be filmed. I think that is also pretty much true as well,some folks don’t want any fanfare when they leave.
I thought “Last Days” was a great story,wonderfully told……

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This is the first film I have reviewed off a streaming channel so if you have Amazon Prime,you can find it there it. Otherwise you can visit the The Last Days website for information on how to buy a copy.
The cheetah and I both highly recommend “Last Days” and its powerful message.

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