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Portuguese director with several films nominated for national and international festivals (SOPHIA Awards, Curtas Vila do Conde, FICBC, SacFilmChallenge, etc.). Collaborated in feature films as 1st AD and also performs academic research with published articles on film theory.
Facing death in its’ rawist form daily contradicts all intrinsic impulses for human survival; it becomes almost a denial of our primal instincts. Staring into the abyss invites a gaze onto ourselves. And specially for health workers it implies that normal psychological coping mechanisms are disrupted towards a greater good. But it also impacts the gaze of the living onto the process of dying and depicts an utilitarian perspective that was once impossible.
This schism is particularly identifiable in Medical Schools. The study of gross anatomy creates an intersection of disparate views on Death and its’ experience: from the donated bodies, which sacrifice their identity into the oblivion of anonymity; the teacher, which prepare the bodies; and students, many of which have never experienced contact with Death, and that are faced with these new companions on a demanding journey.
All of this is solemn, respectful and necessary. All of this is morbid and surreal. And that’s why it must be shown; why every part of it, including the corpses, must be heard. We must, as a society, understand and reflect on what we demand from health workers and what our current ars moriendi implies.