Death In America
A chronological history of how Americans dealt with illness and death from colonial times to now
Produced for PBS by J.R. Olivero and Dr. Stanley Burns (as Black Mirror Films) Death In America is a broadcast documentary based on Dr. Burns’ book “Sleeping Beauty”. A collection of post-mortem images and descriptions from the Burns Archive in New York City (www.burnsarchive.com). Death In America tells the story of lives lost, failed medicine, changing social, cultural, political and religious beliefs, as well as the advent of new technologies.
Death In America looks at the unusual, darker and occasionally humorous side of life’s issues as they affect our view of death. As examples;
· Physicians kept grave robbers on retainer to supply them with bodies for more than 250 years.
· Tens of thousands of people photographed their loved ones after death.
· The world’s largest manufacturer of aspirin is also responsible for the invention of Heroin.
· The creation of the “living room” in an effort to stop funerals in the home.
· A baby bottle that’s still available today is responsible for the death of thousands of babies.
Morals and medicine, miracles and mortuaria. Death In America is an amalgamation of how we have and do view ourselves here and hereafter!
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