Stopping for Death:
The Nurses of Wells House Hospice
"It is honest about the toll this takes on the nurses, and about the contributions some of these people have made to their own demise. It isn’t all flowers and serenity, but it is a true look at one of many days of love and caring. It will fill you with pride in human beings, and though you may cry a little, you will also smile."
- Salt Spring Documentary Festival
"This is a film that deals honestly and bluntly with people in the final stages of their lives...Despite this, Stopping for Death is not a depressing film. It is hard, harsh, extremely sad, but also irreverent, humble, and even funny. Abandoned by family, friends and almost entirely by society, Wells House offers a place of acceptance and love for the people no one else wants."
- Dorothy Woodend, Doxa Film Festival
GENRE: Documentary, Health and Wellness, Death and Dying
Stopping For Death follows four people working a job few would desire: tending to the needs of the dying. They are nurses, but they are also therapists, entertainers, disciplinarians, and family to these patients. Filmed at one of the only full-time residential hospices in the country, this film creates an authentic portrait of a day-in-the-life of the hospice. Off-the-cuff interviews with staff are at the heart of the film as they talk about burnout, budget cuts, and, more warmly, about their patients. These nurses waver between fulfillment and despair, clashing with management and fighting budget cuts while trying to keep life as normal as possible for their dying patients.
Director: Wendy Roderweiss
Runtime: 96 minutes