Griefwalker is a National Film Board of Canada feature documentary film, directed by Tim Wilson. It is a lyrical, poetic portrait of Stephen Jenkinson’s work with dying people. Filmed over a twelve year period, Griefwalker shows Jenkinson in teaching sessions with doctors and nurses, in counselling sessions with dying people and their families, and in meditative and often frank exchanges with the film’s director while paddling a birch bark canoe about the origins and consequences of his ideas for how we live and die.
National Film Board of Canada Trailer
A few of the themes appearing in the film: Where does our culture’s death phobia come from? Is there such a thing as good dying? How is it that grief could be a skill instead of an affliction? Who are the dead to us? How can seeing your life’s end be the beginning of your deep love of being alive?
Stephen Jenkinson has appeared at scores of screenings of Griefwalker across Canada and the U.S. The discussion periods which follow routinely go on for hours. It seems the film detonates a strong desire among people to talk about their experiences of death and grief, and especially to be heard by others. It is clear that a palpable feeling of isolation grows up around people’s encounters with dying in our culture, and the National Film Board and Tim Wilson have done something vital and needed in helping to make the kind of soulful, community building events that Griefwalker screenings have become.
Stephen is available to lead question and answer sessions and discussion groups based on screenings of Griefwalker. These sessions can be attuned to the concerns and needs of religious or community groups, medical continuing education seminars, and conferences and workshops for the helping professions. He can also present the film in the context of an extended palliative care teaching event. He has a strong belief that children and young adults need and deserve an opportunity to have deep, informed discussions on these subjects, and so he has designed dialogues and screening discussions specifically for these age groups, and for their teachers.
To include Griefwalker in your local film festival, or to arrange a screening event in your community, or for more information, please contact us.
“Astonishing…at once visually lush and scripturally poetic”
The Globe and Mail
“Lovely, challenging, moving and controversial.”
The Montreal Gazette
Pre-Release Trailer 1
Pre-Release Trailer 2
Pre-Release Trailer 3