The film, set in Sydney Australia, focuses on birth, love and death, and follows seven ordinary families as they face these profound life experiences. Their powerful stories speak directly to the audience about the nature of life and death, and open a space for thinking about one’s own attitudes to loving and dying.
Tom Murray, whose previous films have screened in competition at international film festivals including Sundance and the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, described his motivation for making the film as being his experience of moving between Sydney, where his grandparents were dying, and Arnhem Land, where he was working and bearing witness to how the Yolngu Aboriginal people deal with death and dying. He says, “This heightened my awareness of the major cultural differences relating to our appreciation of this end of life period. It also made me focus on my own limitations and fears in regard to death. These experiences made me determined to make Love in Our Own Time: a film about birth, love and death in my own community of urban Sydney. I have watched with interest the varied responses to the film – both my own and others.”
The film has been well received in Australia, and is being picked up by university courses and professional bodies for education and training use across a range of areas including medicine, palliative care, bereavement services, nursing, sociology, anthropology, psychotherapy and psychology. The film has been described as “a ‘must see’ for all medical, nursing and allied health students because the general principles of care demonstrated are pivotal to a good clinician’s training and professional practice.” (Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Sydney)
Community groups have also embraced the film, which has been made available for fundraising and community education purposes. Recent screenings have focused on raising awareness about and supporting reflection on matters relating to death and dying. The film has been especially well received in this context, as the sensitive pacing and balance in the film makes the themes accessible to a wider audience and creates space for reflection.
As Dr Jeffrey Streimer (Consultant Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist, Clinical Senior Lecturer) puts it, Love in Our Own Time is “a daring endeavour, masterfully executed and impressive in its impact from a variety of perspectives. … the honesty and simplicity of the concept confronted us with realities that many in western society manage to deny or avoid – simply love, life and death and their relationship. As clinicians we are among a few in society allowed to share these intimacies with our patients, usually in private or in small family groups. Rarely do we get the chance to do so with colleagues, and it is even more rare for others from outside the health profession to be allowed to enter this space. The film took us into this intimate space as is rarely allowed. It is a testament to the generosity of those that it filmed and a privilege for us viewers.”
To find out more about the film or purchase a DVD click here.
Organisations interested in using the film in training or hosting a screening can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.