ALMOST HEAVEN: A coming of age story in one of China’s largest funeral homes

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Nomination for the Berlin International Film Festival’s Glashütte Original Documentary Award

ALMOST HEAVEN (UK, 2017) is a gentle portrait of a young girl coming-of-age and her start into the working world learning an unusual job. The first feature film by British Director Carol Salter will celebrate its world premiere at the section Generation 14plus of the Berlin International Film Festival and is nominated for the overall sections Glashütte Original Documentary Award. The prize will be presented during the official Award Ceremony in the Berlinale Palast. ALMOST HEAVEN is one of 16 documentaries that have been nominated for the Award.


Far from home, afraid of the dark, and terrified of ghosts, young Ying Ling is training to become a mortician in one of China’s largest funeral homes. Charming, cheeky and quirky, Ying Ling spends 24 hours a day with her fellow trainee morticians, living together and working in a basement with no daylight. She learns to perform spa and beauty treatments for the dead, speaking to them softly, watched by their family members. Against this backdrop, she forms a special friendship with a fellow mortician Jin Hau and they share the strangeness of working with the dead together. In their spare time, they go together to arcades and fast food outlets, bantering playfully with each other, a welcome relief from the daily grind at the funeral home. But when Jin Hau suddenly leaves the funeral home, Ying Ling is left to face the harsh realities of the job alone.



ALMOST HEAVEN is a reflection on death and the fragility of life but also a reflection what it is like to be young and alive; a tender elegy to first love, friendship and caring for the dead.

Director: Carol Salter, UK, 2017, 75 Minutes, Color, 5.1

Stay tuned for more on ALMOST HEAVEN!

The Director. Carol Salter is an award winning documentary director and editor who has specialized in making intimate portraits of extraordinary people in other cultures. Her films, e.g. the semi long documentary Mayomi (2008) and the documentary short film Unearthing the Pen (2011) have been presented at many international film festivals winning numerous awards worldwide.

(Source: rische & co pr)



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