The following press release was shared with media nation-wide on the 15th of March, 2023.

Announcing an important new feature documentary set for national release.   

 A subject close to us all, but not talked about nearly enough. 

Imagine if we embraced end-of-life, the way we embrace the start-of-life? 

We prepare for birth; we prepare for life; however there is no formal preparation for our last chapter of life. 

Live the life you please seeks to answer some of the most important questions of all… 

What is a ‘good death’? What would I want for myself? 

How does this inform the way I live?

Leading peak bodies including Palliative Care Australia are pleased to announce the launch of Live the life you please, a definitive, new feature documentary film about living and dying in Australia.

Live the life you please is a film-led social impact campaign that will change the way you think about the last chapter of life.  The campaign aims to improve awareness about palliative care, and advocate for increased access to essential palliative care and related health care services for all Australians.  It also aims to help start important conversations about living the life you please until the very end. 

Produced by multi-award-winning filmmakers and impact film pioneers Mike Hill and Sue Collins, Live the life you please boasts a treasure trove of incredible stories captured all around Australia, from cities and regional centres to remote communities.  What it delivers is a persuasive case for palliative care and changing the way Australians think about the end-of-life. 

Camilla Rowland, Executive Producer and CEO of Palliative Care Australia said, “At the beginning of life in Australia we have preparation for birth classes, we have support throughout the birth, and we have post-natal support.  Drawing a comparison, we say that we don’t expect people with a life-limiting illness to die alone.  Palliative care delivers quality-of-life to people when they’ve received a life-limiting diagnosis.  It provides treatment for symptoms, it addresses pain and psychological distress as well as spiritual issues.  It can occur for the person with a life-limiting illness as well as for their family and carers.”

The film powerfully makes the case for the impact good services make as we approach the end-of-life.   Live the life you please is cinematic and deeply moving whilst also being educational, which is important given the current state-of-play.  Palliative Care Australia found that the majority of Australians (88%) think it is important to start thinking and talking about their wishes and preferences for care if they were to become seriously or terminally ill. However, half (50%) have done nothing regarding their end-of-life-wishes.

Following a recent test screening of the film, Dr Dan Fleming, head of ethics at St Vincent’s Health Australia said, “I wept most of the way through this film. It wasn’t because it was about death, and nor was it because it recounts real pain and tragedy. It was because it was so beautiful. In an extraordinary way, Live the life you please brings expression to the dignified and dignifying work of end-of-life care, with all of its joys and hopes which rest alongside grief and suffering. The film highlights that best practice end-of-life care can help to make the final chapter of life a beautiful one, and challenges our community to make best practice a consistent feature of our health care system.”

Stories include Australians of all ages and different stages of disease, in a variety of geographical locations, cultural, socio-economic and personal circumstances.   The people you will meet in the film will stay with you forever.  Their stories become something that reaches into your hearts.

Film director, Mike Hill, says of the documentary, “Making this film was an incredibly life-affirming experience.  The infinite capacity for humans to grow even whilst grappling with life-limiting illness is incredibly inspiring. The film will make you smile, laugh, laugh harder and occasionally shed a tear as it shares the stories of a diverse range of Australians experiencing their last chapter.”

The film also makes the social and economic case for increased support of essential services including palliative care, aged care, community care, allied health and the support of carers at home.

Writer and producer Sue Collins said of the experience of making the film, “Producing the film was a roller coaster of emotions.  From deep gratitude to all the participants who so openly shared their stories at such a vulnerable time in their lives, to inspiration from the wisdom they shared and sadness that so many people don’t have the opportunity to have a positive end-of-life experience.  We can do better for all Australians and this film really amplifies why it’s so important that we do provide people with the support they need toward the end of their lives.”

Live the life you please also supports the concepts of cultural safety, healthy conversations about death and dying amongst family members, and the importance of advance care planning.

Presenter Simon Waring leads viewers through the lives of people who have experienced or are facing the the end-of-life.  His personal experience in palliative care is also told in the film.  Simon said, “The death of one of my daughters, one of my sons and my wife has had a deep impact.  The beautiful and life-affirming experience we had caring for my 4-year-old son at his end of life, was only made possible by the amazing palliative care support that our family received. That level of support should be available to all Australian families, no matter where they live.”

Simon has been speaking on palliative care issues since 2015 to help educate politicians, medical professionals and the public on the importance and impact of palliative care to patients, families and the community.

The producers are working with a variety of project partners nationwide to make the film available in cinemas and screens in 50 population centres across the country, including through Village Cinemas and Event Cinemas, as well as independent cinemas including Deckchair Cinema Darwin, Nova Cinema Melbourne, Regent Ballarat and the Pivotonian Cinema Geelong.

It takes collective effort to change the way Australians think about palliative care.  





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