Death and the Singing Telegram (1984)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Anthropology, Biography, Interpersonal Relationships  |   Run Time - 110 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Director, editor, and cameraman Mark Rance filmed events, activities, and conversations in his own family over a five-year period and put them together in this intimate documentary that illustrates the ebb and flow of ordinary existence. The family grieves when elderly members die, and middle-aged family members adjust to new roles as they slowly take on the place once occupied by their parents. While the suffering over unwanted change or financial losses evokes sympathy, Rance could have improved his opus for the public at large (all strangers) if some duller scenes were cut, and some of the more esoteric family references deleted.