OMNI Television is pleased to present an encore presentation of The Last Rite. This sensitive, hour-long documentary returns to OMNI.1, Sunday, December 26th at 11:00 p.m. ET.
The Last Rite provides an overview of the perceptions and rituals surrounding death — the last rite of passage – with specific emphasis on the Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim religious communities. The project was developed by Gina Valle following the sudden, unexpected death of her father. “With profound sadness, I came to realize how unprepared I was for the emptiness of death,” says Valle, Producer/Director of The Last Rite. “I also came to understand that much had changed in the way our society deals with death.”
“While growing up in an Italian-Canadian home, I recall many days of prayers and home-cooked meals offered by family members; a stream of visitors at our door; nostalgic photos and half-lit candles everywhere. Now it seems that from the time of death on day one to the burial on day three, we are expected to face death, in the Western world, with little or no prayers, shrieks or chanting.”
“When my father died, the way in which his death was managed was clinical, almost with a detached eagerness to move the death out of the public eye, and rid us of our sorrow in one sweep.”
Comforted by colleagues and friends of diverse backgrounds — including Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims — Valle came to understand how other cultural communities view death, and the customs they observe when life comes to an end.
“OMNI Television is proud to support Gina Valle’s documentary,”says Madeline Ziniak, National Vice President of OMNI Television. “The Last Rite presents a cross-section of faith communities and how they ritualize loss while finding strength in their respective beliefs at this difficult time.”
The Last Rite also examines how various spiritual leaders, health practitioners and palliative care workers deal with the deaths they are called to witness each day. These dedicated individuals add another dimension to widely held misconceptions on death and dying.
Death is a treasure, a gift that reminds us the promise of a good life, and requires only that we take this view to heart. The Last Rite challenges this notion as it tackles the larger questions that many of us face each day. These questions are many, and in The Last Rite so are the answers.
The Last Rite was exclusively funded through OMNI’s Independent Producers Initiative, a $32.5 million production fund that has supported over 200 new documentary programmes. Interested producers can access funding criteria at OMNI Television’s web site www.OMNItv.ca .
About OMNI Television
OMNI is a free, over-the-air multilingual/multicultural television system committed to positive portrayal and broadcast reflection of Canada’s diversity through the airing of inclusive and accessible programming. With five stations — in BC; Alberta (Calgary and Edmonton) and Ontario (OMNI.1 and OMNI.2) – OMNI reaches more than 23 million households in major market areas. As well as specializing in Canadian multilingual/multicultural programming, OMNI carries well-known International series and films – including East Asian Super Cinema and South Asian Bollywood Freetime Movies. OMNI Television is a part of Rogers Media Inc., a division of Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX: RCI and NYSE: RCI) which is a diversified Canadian communications and media company.
About the Producer/Director
Gina Valle is the curator of a photo exhibit called Legacies and the editor of the book Our Grandmothers Ourselves: Reflections of Canadian Women which examines aging, family and feminism from twenty cultural perspectives. Gina holds a PhD in Multicultural Studies and Teacher Education. Valle’s company Diversity Matters Inc. focuses on initiatives that bring diverse ideas and people together. For further information, please see www.ginavalle.com