Directed by Lynette Wallworth
A big hearted community celebrates life by fronting up to death. Description Set against the stunning backdrop of the industrial seaside town of Port Kembla, a feisty and resilient community group have determined to take back the responsibility that most of us leave to someone else - to care for their own dead. Scattered throughout are stories that cut to the core revealing why this small band have decided to take on a practice that for most is taboo. As their plans for community-based funerals gather momentum one of their own is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Tender is at once a heartbreakingly beautiful and beautifully funny glimpse of an extraordinary community taking on one of the most essential challenges of human life ... its end.
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★★★★½ review by David on Letterboxd
Confession time: I have had a lump in my throat, I have been on the cusp of tears, but I have never cried at the cinema. Well, that is, not until I saw Tender.
Residents in a small Australian town appalled by exorbitant funeral company charges decide to set up their own community not-for-profit collective. This documentary follows their journey in learning about the trade, all the while knowing that one of their number is likely to be the first recipient of their service. A film about death that is beautiful, frequently funny and passionate, as well as moving. It’s an incredibly powerful but accessible (if you have the nerve) film. I’m so glad I saw it despite it turning me into an emotional wreck*, especially as it is likely that will probably never see the light of day anywhere. Take the chance if you get the opportunity to see it, but just brace yourself for it.
* It was obvious too at the screening that I was far from being the only one.
★★★★½ review by Emily Gordon on Letterboxd
Like many of its characters Tender may be a little rough around the edges, but it is filled with genuine heart.
In the shadow of the Port Kembla steel works a community group looks for a way to take back control of their own lives, by taking back control of death. This is a film about death and funerals, and the difficulties of talking about them.
A beautifully told, incredibly heartbreaking documentary that had me sobbing by the end.
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