— Lauren Wissot, Filmmaker Magazine
Through the eyes of funeral director Isaiah Owens, the beauty and grace of African-American funerals are brought to life. Filmed at Owens Funeral Home in New York City’s historic Harlem neighborhood, Homegoings takes an up-close look at the rarely seen world of undertaking in the black community, where funeral rites draw on a rich palette of tradition, history and celebration. Combining cinéma vérité with intimate interviews and archival photographs, the film paints a portrait of the dearly departed, their grieving families and a man who sends loved ones “home.” A co-production of ITVS and POV’s Diverse Voices Project, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. A co-presentation with the National Black Programming Consortium.
Homegoings premieres June 24, 2013 at 10 PM on PBS stations. (Check local listings.) The film will be available for streaming on the POV website starting June 25, 2013 through July 24, 2013.
In tandem with the national broadcast premiere, POV is building an online resource, created by submissions from the PBS audience, of American funeral traditions, and hosting open discussions about the American ways of death and the funeral industry. Visit the Homegoings site to submit your story or share your funeral practices as part of this interactive feature, and check back in the future to see what topics viewers are discussing and debating.
And as a reminder, after the broadcast, you can visit the Homegoings companion site to join the conversation about the film, get an update on the subjects, watch deleted scenes and read background information on the funeral industry and the rich tradition of African-American funeral directors.