End Game (12) Review

Written by Film

Not to be confused with the conspiracy ridden 2007 Endgame, written and directed by professional nutter Alex Jones, this new straight to Netflix short film tells a poignant story of life on the cusp of death.

Set in the University of California, San Francisco Medical Centre, the documentary follows five terminally ill patients and their families as well as the medical practitioners who are trying to change the way they think about dying. Thank God the film was only 40 minutes long because it was an incredibly emotional film about a very uncomfortable subject.

Doctor Steven Pantilat, said that, ‘when we are healthy it’s easy to think about how we want to die, when we are sick, we just want to live’. This documentary shows the resilience of several patients who have to make that difficult choice, of how, where and when they will die.

Mitra, who was the most prominent figure of the documentary, was seen often in horrific pain. But the real heart-breaking moments came from seeing her mother and husband discussing whether she would be more comfortable in hospice care, and learning that her son had asked who would look after him when his mother dies.

Whilst bleak, End Game does serve to show that although death is a part of life, it does not have to be something totally uncontrollable. Pat, one of the patients in the documentary, had cancer of the womb. Yet, she said that every day she was still alive was a blessing and continued fighting the cancer for as long as she could. Other subjects of the documentary also got to die on their own terms; Thekla, another patient, died at home with her husband.

End Game is a powerful documentary about death which shows the immense strength of the human character, and is ultimately life-affirming.

Last modified: 15th May 2018

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