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The Suicide Tourist
The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to partner with the Northern Arizona Chapter of Compassion and Choices to present the encore of the multiple award-winning film “The Suicide Tourist” on Thursday, Nov. 15. There will be one show at 4 p.m. at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre. Tickets are only a $5 donation for this special encore event.
The film screening will be followed by a discussion and Skype Q&A with the film’s Academy Award-winning director John Zaritsky.
“The Suicide Tourist” has won numerous top awards at prestigious film festivals around the world, including the Audience Choice Most Thought-Provoking Documentary at the Sedona International Film Festival in 2009.
The controversial Swiss non-profit, Dignitas, is the only place in the world where, regardless of nationality, those seeking assisted suicide can legally be helped to die. Oscar-winning director John Zaritsky brings an intimate and unforgettable human perspective to this emotionally difficult and ethically complex issue.
In “The Suicide Tourist”, Zaritsky tells two interwoven stories about assisted suicide. In the first, he follows a terminally-ill man, 59 year-old American Craig Ewert, through the last four days of his life — preparing to leave his adopted home in England for the last time, then on his journey to Zurich, and into the care of Dignitas, with whose help he will end his life. Dignitas — a kind of travel agency to the afterlife — has made all the arrangements. In the second story, George has terminal heart disease, and would like to choose the time of his death with the help of Dignitas; his wife Betty is determined to die with him, even though she is perfectly healthy.
Through these two intimate, compelling, and controversial stories, the audience will understand the difficult choices these couples have made, and they will be taken on a journey they could only have imagined, and will not forget.
Prior to our feature film, we are pleased to also be showing a short video of a local woman, Julie Jones, who is terminally ill. In the video, Julie frankly shares her thoughts and concerns on her illness and Arizona’s struggle with legalization on end-of-life options.
After the film, Leesa Stevens, volunteer coordinator for the Northern Arizona Chapter of Compassion and Choices will briefly describe the differences in active and passive dying measures practiced by the countries central to the film. It is somewhat eye-opening to see the contrast between Switzerland, the United States, and the United Kingdom with regard to aid-in-dying for the terminally ill. Stevens and the film’s Oscar-winning director John Zaritsky, will then follow up with a Q&A session with the audience.
“The Suicide Tourist” will show at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 4 p.m. Tickets are a donation of $5.
For tickets and more information, please call 928-282-1177. Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona.