'Saying Goodbye' documentary at Encounters in June
South African based university lecturer, Sean Davison, made world headline news when he helped his aged cancer stricken mother pass away. Izette Mostert’s first self-funded documentary film, Saying Goodbye, explores this controversial euthanasia case Sean found himself in and tries to understand why he did what he did. Even though the story takes place on two continents, it is an intimate one that takes us into Sean’s home where we meet the people close to him and get a sense of the people. Sean spent his five month house arrest in New Zealand, before returning to his family in Cape Town, South Africa in April 2012.
HOW DID YOU FIRST HEAR ABOUT THIS STORY AND WHY DID YOU THINK IT WAS AN IMPORTANT STORY TO TELL?
IM: A mutual friend and colleague of Sean’s introduced us. She told me about him. I was a bit sceptical… but when I met him I realised, I WANT to tell this story.
DID MEETING HIM, MAKE YOU WANT TO TELL THE STORY?
IM: The way Sean told me about the moment he helped his mother to die, it made me think about myself in a situation like that. When I thought about him being on trial for murder, it just didn’t make sense and as a journalist and documentary filmmaker I thought I have the chance to show people, let them feel, what he experienced when he saw his mother suffer and die. I’m trying hard to be objective but this is a universal story and we all have dealt or will be dealing with situations like this somewhere along our life paths. As his story was current I thought it was apt to tell his story as soon as possible.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIFIC STANCE ON EUTHANASIA THAT ENCOURAGED YOU TO TELL THIS STORY?
IM: Well, I’m pro euthanasia and was pro euthanasia before I made this film. And I’m not sure if I would’ve made the film if I was against it. I tried hard not to let viewers feel I’m telling them what to think, but rather that I am giving them facts – about one very specific case – and would like them to think about it. If people walk away and feel euthanasia is wrong, I’m okay with that. I hope people walk away and understand why Sean did it.
For more information visit http://docfilmsa.com/perspective/saying-goodbye/
Issued by Tina-Louise Smith