Documentary In Bloom Presents: Homecomings

Monday-Sunday, June 24th-30th, 7:30pm

(Thursday, June 27th, 4:00pm Showing Only)

Documentary in Bloom Presents Homegoings

Curated by Livia Bloom

U.S. Theatrical Premiere

Christine Turner, 2013, 58 min.

Harlem's own Isaiah Owens, proprietor of the Owens Funeral Home--just a few blocks away from the Maysles Cinema on Malcolm X Blvd--and his family are the focus of this thoughtful cinematic portrait by New York filmmaker Turner. Growing up, Owens felt like an outcast for the interest in death and its rituals that led him to design elaborate ceremonies for the burial of neighborhood pets. Today, however, he is a pillar of his community, beloved for a gentle, practical approach to "homegoings" at a time when discussions of death are taboo and the undertaking field is dominated by impersonal big business. Venturing behind the scenes of a much feared and misunderstood profession, this thoughtful film examines the rituals of African American funerals and the approach that Owens takes to his craft, one of the few that black Americans could enter into freely after slavery. Combining cinéma vérité with personal interviews, Homegoings paints a portrait of Harlem's the dearly departed and the man who serves them.

Tuesday, June 25 and Friday, June 28: Post-film Q&As with director Christine Turner and the Homegoings cast!

Reception will follow the program on Friday, June 28!

"9/10 Stars! [A sense of justice and continuity makes the lovely documentary] Homegoings makes especially vibrant." —Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters

"A string of memorable moments in filmmaker Christine Turner’s moving documentary, Homegoings, [refuse] to leave my mind’s eye." —Clem Richardson, New York Daily News


Preceded by

StoryCorps Shorts: A 10th Anniversary Program

The Rauch Brothers, 2010-2013, approximately 20 min.

Over 45,000 oral histories have been recorded by the NYC-based organization StoryCorps since they opened their doors in 2003. Archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the stories document the lives of Americans of all ages and beliefs in their own voices. In honor of their tenth anniversary, Documentary in Bloom at the Maysles Cinema is proud to present this program of StoryCorps short films, featuring the audio from selected oral histories brought beautifully to life with animation.

This program is made possible by P.O.V. Special thanks to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). For more information on StoryCorps, visit: