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The Exit Internationalist

October 29, 2023

‘Dulce Muerte’ Premieres at Morelia International Film Festival

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The documentary “Dulce Muerte”, which premieres at the 2023 Morelia Film Festival (FICM), takes a close look at Philip Nitschke, one of the greatest defenders of euthanasia.

Nitschke is a peculiar character who brings this controversial subject to the table. Nitschke was intricately involved in the filming with Mexican Director, Analeine Cal y Mayor, as they introduce humour into the film.

“I told the doctor on the phone that I wanted to find humour in the tough subject as wanting to die, but I didn’t know how to do it.

He said to me ‘I’m going to have my comedy debut in a few months time when I do a ‘stand up’ show at the Edinburgh Fringe. It was like the opportunity fell from heaven,” Cal y Mayor said at a pre-festival press conference.

How did the film come about?

Cal y Mayor met Nitschke in person for the first time, eight years ago, in Edinburgh,where she went after selling her camera to fund er early film project.

And there began the story of the film, which will be shown in a special screening this Saturday 21 October at Cinépolis Centro Morelia, during FICM, which is being held in Morelia from 20 to 29 October.

The film is produced by Carlos Sosa and executive produced by American actor/ director Viggo Mortensen.

Mortensen is a special guest at the Morelia festival, which is the most important film festival in Mexico.


What can we see in the film?

In addition to following Dr Nitschke as he loses his license as a doctor and plans his new career as a comedian, the film also stars Kathy, from Eastbourne in the UK.

After learning about Dr Nitschke’s right to die work, Kathy decides to travel to Tijuana, on Mexico’s northern border, to buy Nembutal on the black market. She says she wants to have the drug in the cupboard so she can avoid falling victim to dementia, like her mother.

Cal y Mayor, together with Carlos Sosa and Mortensen say they all have examples in their families of people who have suffered from various illnesses, and who have deserved the right to make their end of life choices: that is why the doctor’s story captured their attention from the beginning.

In addition, both Mexicans said that their points of view changed over the years of the project, as did the doctor’s own point of view. They all now believe that it was not essential to be ill in order to want the choice to die with dignity.

“Every single thing we have explored confirms this,” said Sosa.

The producer adds that with this film they want to invite the public to reflect. This is why they wanted to take it to Morelia: “a spectacular festival”.

“We don’t want it to go directly to the small screen, but to have a festival tour,” he said.

As the film has only just been completed, future screening dates are yet to be confirmed.

Watch the Exit site for news in the coming months.

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