Watch Me Disappear: A moving glimpse into a lonely death

August 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

Watch Me Disappear Review

Watch Me Disappear: Channel 4, Friday 22nd Aug, 7:35pm Alert Me

Praise again for Channel 4’s Generation Next season, which promotes emerging filmmakers. The raw, genuine talent of many of these films is impossible to ignore and nowhere is this more true than in this beautiful short documentary by Lucy Cohen.

Each month in Britain around 200 people are buried alone. These unclaimed, unnoticed people are the subject of this moving documentary, as Lucy Cohen pieces together the lives of two of these individuals who slipped away from life unseen.

Beyond the shock of how many people die alone, this film seeks to capture the connection between these lost people and us, the faceless crowd who passed them by.

It is delicately made, often approaching the lives of its two subjects from the periphery by looking at the objects they surrounded themselves with- books, dolls or shopping receipts. Cohen talks to childhood friends and neighbours, looking for the impression left by their absence. Often she lets moments of natural absence speak for themselves- letting the camera hold on the expression of a boy who found the body rather than the boy who is talking.

There are times when the soundtrack overwhelms it, something which makes is distracting, but overall this is an enormously empathic film which gives voice to people have passed unseen from the world. Definitely one to watch.

By McGee Noble