Zen & the Art of Dying (2015) poster

Zen & the Art of Dying (2015)

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1h 01 min

From her origins as a young mother in the UK, to her present day identity as a lesbian, feminist, and self-described deathwalker in the idyllic seaside town of Byron Bay, Australia, Zenith Virago's personal and professional experiences quietly challenge our core assumptions about life and dissolve our taboos around death. The most sought-after marriage celebrant in an increasingly commercialized wedding destination town, Zenith is also co-founder of the Australian Natural Death Care Centre, an organization that provides end-of-life decision planning and DIY funeral alternatives to residents of Australia's North Coast. Whether marrying or burying, Zenith's mission remains clear: to help people reclaim their most personal, profound, and vulnerable life moments from commercial forces, government bureaucracy, and cultural taboos. For Zenith, deathwalking is nothing new; it is a process of reclaiming and reimagining community and family-oriented death care traditions that were progressively lost to Western culture over the last century. Zenith's example, and the willingness of Byron Shire's citizens to join her cause, invite each of us to reexamine and reclaim a more active role in how we live, love, and die.