Directed by Johanna J. Lunn
In the documentary we ask the big question: What happens when we die? Does consciousness continue or is it lights out? The director, Johanna Lunn, guides viewers on her quest to find out.
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Johanna has worked in the film and television business for over 35 years. In that time, she has helped start up a PBS station, created a ground-breaking children’s film festival and was Artistic Director of the Atlantic Film Festival. She was head of CTV’s Atlantic Development Office and later launched the Independent Film Channel Canada, produced and directed over 150 hours of award-winning television, and produced and directed five documentary films, one of which won Best Documentary in its class at Hot Docs.
At a young age, and in less that 3 years, I experienced 3 significant deaths – my mother, best friend, and a stranger on the side of a road. This experience thrust me into a deep period of grieving at a time when death and grief were taboo. People around me were uncomfortable by my grief. They didn’t know what to say other than ‘get over it.’ Needless to say that wasn’t a very helpful.
Life and death are themes that have danced with me ever since. And now, oh so many years after these formative experiences, I have had the good fortune to go deeper into some of the big questions. In the Realm of Death & Dreaming is an exploration of what happens when we die – does consciousness continue, or is it lights out?
I narrate the film and from that point of view act as a guide for viewers on a journey to find answers by, exploring personal stories of near-death experiences, deathbed visions and more. We hear from leading clinicians and researchers who have spent their careers studying these experiences and the nature of consciousness. Their stories are deeply compassionate and often funny.
It is my experience that exploring what happens after death not only helps us decide how we want to be cared for at the end of life, but it reduces our fear of death and that helps us live more fully.
Here are a few of the people the documentary features: Dean Radin, PhD, Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences; Ann Marie Chiasson, MD, School of Integrative Medicine, U. of AZ; Anthony Bossis, PhD, NYU Medical Centre psilocybin trials; Penny Sartori, PhD author of The Transformative Power of Near Death Experiences; Peter Fenwick, MD, Neuropsychologist and author of The Art of Dying; Andrew Holecek, author of Preparing to Die; and others.
I am grateful to all the people who spent time with me sharing their knowledge and experience. It is my deepest hope that these interviews spark great conversations that help people embrace life more fully.