A documentary on palliative care which follows five families as they care for a dying relative has been produced by Associate Professor Sinéad Donnelly from the Department of Medicine.
‘Te Whakahemohemo, The Way We Care’, premiered at the Roxy Cinema in Wellington in October. It shows family members sharing their stories directly with the camera, and highlights the care provided by nurses and doctors at home, in hospital and at hospices.
Associate Professor Donnelly, who produced and directed the film, says it is a celebration of caring.
“As a palliative medicine physician, I meet patients who are facing their imminent death and get to know their whānau. I always find it inspiring and I wanted to create the opportunity for more people to hear their stories.
“The focus of the documentary is to look at the gift, the aroha and the challenges of caring for someone who is dying. My hope is that the people on screen will be like pebbles thrown into the pool of life whose courage and care create ever expanding ripples.”
Associate Professor Donnelly says she’s grateful for the generosity of whānau who shared their grief, vulnerability and aroha.
The film has been made to broadcast standards to allow it to be shown to a broad range of audiences nationally and internationally.
Associate Professor Donnelly also plans to use it as an educational resource for nursing and medical students as well as in postgraduate health care settings.
‘Te Whakahemohemo’ is the latest in a series of documentaries she has made on palliative care topics.
They include ‘Going Home’, which has been shown on Māori Television, and is used in workshops with fourth-year medical students as they explore social, spiritual and cultural aspects of dying and death.
Her previous films can be viewed here.