Semiotics of Death: Revealing Death in a Culture of Denial

Lieu : Amphithéâtre de la MRSH
Début : 09/04/2018 - 09:30
Fin : 09/04/2018 - 12:30
Responsable(s) scientifique(s) : Benoît Raoulx

Dans le cadre du Laboratoire Documentaire FRESH / Normandie Image et de l'Institut des Amériques, Michelle Lebrun (réalisatrice et enseignante à Providence (États-Unis)  professeure invitée à Rennes 2, présentera son film Death: a Love Story ainsi que des ateliers réalisés avec des jeunes. Le film a été sélectioné dans de nombreux festivals dont le festival de Sundance.

Michelle LeBrun is a filmmaker and educator from Rhode Island in the U.S. As a producer/director and educator, her interests include media literacy, civic engagement, and empowering young and old alike to analyze media and the world around them to produce inspiring films that have an impact on social issue conversations.

Death: A Love Story, was her first film having directed, produced, written and photographed the film. It was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and aired on national public television (PBS) in the U.S. and CBC Canada. An analysis of the film was featured in Sundancing (2000), by John Anderson, History in Documentaries (2005), by Alan Rosenthal (China edition), and Documentary Media (2009), by Broderick Fox. Death: A Love Story is currently used in classrooms in over 500 universities and colleges in the US and Canada and is also available in the educational market as well as streaming from Kanopy in San Francisco, CA.


What makes it difficult to talk about death? What images are used to portray death in the media? What meaning does it have for us? In this presentation and discussion we will look at some of the ways that death is represented in American culture and also offer an alternative view. While it is slowly changing, 70% of Americans still die in the hospital with patient and family unprepared for life’s end. In our society, America, we are very geared toward avoidance of death even though death is all around us all the time. Avoidance and fear at the end of life causes us to rob ourselves and our loved ones of the peace and power possible at the end of life. Looking at some of the recent research on the semiotics of death we will unpack the sources of our fear and loathing. We will also view the 1 hour documentary, Death: A Love Story and see an alternative view in representing death.