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A story of kindness


Letting Go: A Hospice Journey
Albert Maysles Film-maker
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There's this expression which is so telltale: the near death experience. And so with this opportunity to film families, three or four families, where somebody is dying and to film through that whole event, there's the opportunity to film the dear... the near death experience. And it's so touching. There's a scene, for example, where this woman from Queens, just outside of Manhattan, she's in her 40s and she's dying of cancer, and she's a Pentecostal believer. And so are her children who are teenagers, early in their 20s, and the son, I remember especially, prayed for his mother. And then during that last... those last moments as she was coming to the end of her life, the priest is there, and he's there, the three of them are in the room. And the son turns to the priest and says, 'What have I been praying for?' It's such a touching moment. And, I'd like to film the other end of it as well, you know? What happens in those moments after a woman gives birth to a child.

Albert Maysles (1926-2015) known for his important documentaries on Muhammad Ali, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles, pioneered the documentary style known as Direct Cinema. He helped create techniques still widely used in modern documentary production, as well as many of the techniques used in reality TV.

Listeners: Rebekah Maysles Tamara Tracz Sara Maysles

Rebekah Maysles, daughter of Albert Maysles, is an artist living between New York and Philadelphia. She has her own line of clothing, Blackberryrose, and co-runs the store Sodafine in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York, a vintage and handmade store that sells clothing, books and other products made by artists.

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

Sara Maysles, daughter of Albert Maysles, is currently doing her BA in East Asian Studies at Columbia University, and working as an Archivist of the photographs and photographic material at Maysles Films Inc., Albert‚s film production company. She spent ten months out of two years working with Tibetan refugees at a center in Nepal, and continues to travel back and forth between America and Asia.

Tags: Manhattan

Duration: 1 minute, 55 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2004

Date story went live: 29 September 2010