Still Life Italy, UK 2013 – 92min.
Those who die alone should at least have someone at their funeral: John May finds lost relatives.
John May has a small office but a big heart: when someone who has lost their link to society dies in his community, May does all he can to find someone who cares about their death. To do so, he has to be a meticulous, even criminal detective, as his work often brings him into contact with people of all classes and generations. Although he lives completely alone, he is patient and relaxed, even when his job digs up not only the past, but also a wealth of emotions.
"We all die alone" would be the direct English translation of Hans Fallada’s novel, which dealt with this subject cryptically as far back as 1947. Uberto Pasolini’s movie, however, takes it literally, creating a exceptionally conscientious council worker who makes sure everyone gets a dignified funeral, especially if there are seemingly no relatives to be found. As in Departures, in the end it’s all about restoring dignity after death and what that may mean for those few left behind.