POV 1988 | TV Show Watchlist

Season 17, Episode 6 A Family Undertaking

First Aired: August 3, 2004

“A Family Undertaking” explores the home-funeral movement as it profiles advocates and families who are burying loved ones without the services of undertakers. The hour briefly visits a funeral-industry convention in Florida (where a speaker urges colleagues to provide a “meaningful death experience” for consumers), but mostly it focuses on families who provide what advocate Beth Knox calls their own “after-death care.” In South Dakota, the ranching Carr family builds patriarch Bernard's coffin, and Bernard is seen burning his brand into it. “You work together and play together,” says Bernard's son Keith. “Why would you want to ship a member of your family to the cold, old morgue?”

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  • Premiered: July 5, 1988
  • Rating: None
  • Premise: This acclaimed, long-running documentary series is a showcase for independent films on a wide variety of subjects, from the heartwarming (`Sweet Old Song,' about a 91-year-old musician) to the whimsical (`The Sweetest Sound,' a study of names) to the contr… (more)

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