Zeena and the Admins wish you a very Happy New Year - 2016! To celebrate the transition from this year to the next, Zeena curates a day of programs for New Year's Eve, reflecting the symbolism, reality, speculation and metaphysics of Death.
Tune in to Network Awesome anytime after midnight tonight for an unconventional New Year's Eve fest.
1. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXAMINES WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE
Life After Life: What happens when we die? Is there an afterlife? Does consciousness survive physical death? These are some of the most baffling questions known to us
2. Doc - The Tibetan Book of the Dead (2004)
LEONARD COHEN NARRATES A DOC ON AN ESSENTIAL PART OF BUDDHISM, THE BOOK OF THE DEAD
Death is real, it comes without warning and it cannot be escaped. An ancient source of strength and guidance, The Tibetan Book of the Dead remains an essential teaching in the Buddhist cultures of the Himalayas. Narrated by Leonard Cohen, this enlightening two-part series explores the sacred text and boldly visualizes the afterlife according to its profound wisdom.
Part 1: A Way of Life reveals the history of The Tibetan Book of the Dead and examines its traditional use in northern India, as well as its acceptance in Western hospices. Shot over a four-month period, the film contains footage of the rites and liturgies for a deceased Ladakhi elder and includes an interview with the Dalai Lama, who shares his views on the book's meaning and importance.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Part 2 - The Great Liberation), 2004
Part 2: The Great Liberation follows an old lama and his novice monk as they guide a Himalayan villager into the afterlife using readings from The Tibetan Book of the Dead. The soul's 49-day journey towards rebirth is envisioned through actual photography of rarely seen Buddhist rituals, interwoven with groundbreaking animation by internationally acclaimed filmmaker Ishu Patel.
3. The Storyteller: The Soldier and Death (Jim Henson, 1987)
JIM HENSON'S BRILLIANT 1987 SERIES STARRING JOHN HURT IN THE TITLE ROLE
The Soldier and Death
Taken from an early Russian folk tale retold in English by Arthur Ransome and is also inspired by Godfather Death.
A soldier returns home after 20 years of war, with three biscuits in his knapsack. On his way he meets three beggars to whom he gives the biscuits; in return one gives him a ruby whistle, one the jolliest dance, and the final man, who gets the last biscuit despite the soldier being hungry himself, in return gives him a pack of magic playing cards and a musty sack that has the power to trap anything ordered into it. Using the sack, the soldier manages to trap a flock of geese, and so manages to feed himself. Upon arriving at an abandoned castle overrun with small devils, he plays them in a game of cards, winning 40 barrels of gold, and when they try to kill him, he captures them in the sack only letting them go when they promise to never return. He makes one of them swear to serve him and keeps its foot as leverage. Quickly becoming rich and famous because he removed the devils from a palace that is owned by the Tzar, his luck runs short when his son becomes deathly ill. Calling upon the devil, the soldier is given a glass goblet that allows the owner to see Death. If Death is at the foot of the person's bed (as was the case with his son), he or she will recover if sprinkled with water from the goblet. If Death is at the head of the bed, nothing can be done. Then the Tzar becomes ill and the soldier, seeing Death at the head of his bed, makes a bargain with Death: his life in exchange for the Tzar's. Death takes his offer and gives the illness to the soldier, curing the Tzar. Lying in his death bed, he summons Death into his sack, and stops death from happening everywhere. But as time goes on, he sees people everywhere who are waiting for death that will not come. So he frees Death, who fears the soldier and his sack so much that he refuses to take the soldier's life. The soldier, old and weary of life, seeks out a way to die. He travels down to the underworld, forcing the devils at the gates (the same ones from before) to give him two hundred souls and a map to heaven. Terrified of the sack, the devils agree to his demands. Upon reaching the gates of heaven, he asks to be let in with the souls while begging for forgiveness from God, but he is denied by thegatekeeper. He gives the sack to one of the souls, asking the soul to summon him into the sack when he has passed through the gates. But since there is no memory in heaven, the soul forgets and the soldier is condemned to live forever upon the Earth. In closing, the storyteller remarks (with a smile) that the soldier is still probably about his business. As the Storyteller tosses the bag aside, a devil emerges from the bag unnoticed by the Storyteller, but noticed by the dog who dismisses it as his imagination.
4. Doc - The Egyptian Book Of The Dead
A LOOK AT THE SACRED TEXT OF THE EGYPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD
The Book of the Dead is an ancient Egyptian funerary text, used from the beginning of the New Kingdom (around 1550 BCE) to around 50 BCE. The original Egyptian name for the text, transliterated rw nw prt m hrw is translated as "Book of Coming Forth by Day". Another translation would be "Book of emerging forth into the Light". "Book" is the closest term to describe the loose collection of texts consisting of a number of magic spells intended to assist a dead person's journey through the Duat, or underworld, and into the afterlife and written by many priests over a period of about 1000 years.
5. Doc - A Certain Kind Of Death (2003)
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE WITH NO NEXT OF KIN DIE?
Unblinking and unsettling, this documentary lays bare a mysterious process that goes on all around us - what happens to people who die with no next of kin.
Dead bodies in various stages of decomposition are seen, but not played for shock factor. Instead, you learn a little about each person, both what they were before death and what will happen to them afterward. They are followed from the discovery of the body to the final disposition of the remains, and each step in between.
6. Movie - A Matter Of Life And Death (Powell & Pressburger, 1947)
A JAW-DROPPING FANTASY OF A DOWNED PILOT WHO MUST JUSTIFY HIS EXISTENCE TO A HEAVENLY PANEL BECAUSE HE FELL IN LOVE WITH AN AMERICAN GIRL WHEN HE REALLY SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEAD.
Also known as Stairway to Heaven, A Matter of Life and Death is the remarkable British fantasy film that became the surprise hit of 1946. David Niven stars as Peter Carter, a World War II RAF pilot who is forced to bail out of his crippled plane without a parachute. He wakes up to find he has landed on Earth utterly unharmed...which wasn't supposed to happen according to the rules of Heaven. A celestial court argues over whether or not to claim Carter's life or to let him survive to wed his American sweetheart (Kim Hunter). During an operation, in which Carter hovers between life and death, he dreams that his spirit is on trial, with God (Abraham Sofaer) as judge and Carter's recently deceased best friend (Roger Livesey) as defense counsel. The film tries to have it both ways by suggesting that the heavenly scenes are all a product of Carter's imagination, but the audience knows better. Among the curious but effective artistic choices in A Matter of Life and Death was the decision to film the earthbound scenes in Technicolor and the Heaven sequences in black-and-white. The film was a product of the adventuresome team known as "The Archers": Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.
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