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Tender is a documentary film made by Lynette Wallworth, a Newtown-based artist and filmmaker, presenting an amazing and ordinary group of people living in Port Kembla who started a not-for-profit funeral service.  The Port Kembla Community Project started Tender Funerals from necessity as too many of its members had to burying their dead incurring funeral costs far exceeding their meagre savings and not satisfied with the way in which the felt about the ceremonies on offer.

Tender Funerals encourages us to take back control and reveals the type of things we can do at the time of death for our loved ones.  Powerful ceremonies such as washing and dressing of the body, decorating a cardboard or handmade, simple wooden coffins are just the start.  Tender raises the issue about the importance of planning for when we die and to let our family and friends know what it is we want when our time comes so that our wishes are carried out rather than left in the hands of those who may not know what is important to us.

This is an exceptional documentary, so moving on so many levels; in particular the ordinariness of those who got together for want of something better, to improve their environment and to reveal tenderness and acceptance of each other in the most respectful and humorous way.  I hope you will watch Tender, if you haven’t seen it already, for there are many gifts in this film that will give you and your community information and ideas about the best of end of life and after death preparation for you and your people.

The GroundSwell Project based in New South Wales can also offer information and advice.


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