Singing cof­fin builders doc­cie a hit

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

WELLING­TON: A group of el­derly New Zealan­ders with a macabre hobby are the stars of a new mu­si­cal doc­u­men­tary.

Film­maker Briar March’s short doc­u­men­tary The Cof­fin Club, re­leased on­line yes­ter­day, por­trays a free-spir­ited group of se­nior cit­i­zens who make their own low-cost coffins.

“I’ve al­ways been a lit­tle afraid of age­ing and I’ve of­ten felt ner­vous and un­com­fort­able at fu­ner­als, so when I heard about the Kiwi Cof­fin Club I was im­me­di­ately in­trigued and wanted to meet the peo­ple be­hind it,” March said.

The el­derly group meets once a week to re­joice in life while fac­ing the re­al­i­ties of death. It started in 2010 when for­mer pal­lia­tive nurse Katie Williams was pon­der­ing new ac­tiv­i­ties for the el­derly.

With lit­tle knowl­edge of car­pen­try and few wood­work skills, the now 78-year-old brought to­gether some friends with the nec­es­sary back­grounds and the club was soon up and run­ning.

March said she de­cided to make the film as a doc­u­men­tary mu­si­cal as she thought the mix of gen­res would demon­strate that there is still so much to laugh about and cel­e­brate when fac­ing mor­tal­ity.

The film is part of Load­ing Docs and can be watched on­line. – dpa

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