The documentary “Life Before Death” continues to wow audiences around the globe, with its unflinching, emotionally accessible look at the need for palliative care. This past weekend, it screened in the capital city of Australia, Canberra, at Parliament House Australia.
Over 200 people attended the nearly sold out showing. Palliative Care Australia rolled out an actual red carpet for the event, and hosted a pre-screening party. The Hon Mark Butler, Minister for Ageing and Mental Health, introduced the film and then stayed to watch the film, which deeply moved him.
Luminaries from palliative care and cancer were in attendance. Dr Scott Blackwell, David Hill and Dr Yvonne Luxford all spoke on the issue prior to the screening.
There were several ministers in the audience along with doctors, nurses, patient advocates, pharmaceutical industry reps, NGO reps and bureaucrats as well as general audience. Two senators leading the inquiry into palliative care spoke to the audience following the screening.
The film was screened with a high level of audience interaction: laughs, gasps and tears. When the credits rolled, the audience was initially silent … and then erupted with applause.
After the screening, directors Sue Collins and Mike Hill fielded a lively Q&A session. Mike writes to us in an email:
“I made a point of wearing the Stop the Pain tee shirt and about 10 people asked me if they could get one after the screening. Someone even asked me to take it off on the spot and give it to them when I was going to the bathroom.”