Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival


Much Ado About Dying

The challenges of eldercare outside traditional family structures – – are sharply presented in Simon Chambers’ piercingly personal documentary Much Ado About Dying, in which the independent lives of two gay men, a generation apart, are entangled in the face of mortality.

“I think I may be dying.” It’s with this message — typically polite but offhand, as if dying isn’t the first thing on his mind — that long-retired actor David Newlyn Gale summons Chambers, his nephew and a shoestring documentarian shooting in India, to his bedside in a poky London studio. As it turns out, he is and he isn’t.

Guy Lodge, Variety

A beautiful portrait of aging and loneliness, Simon Chambers’ Much Ado About Dying dwells on an often-tragicomic but warm relationship as filmmaker Chambers returns to London to grudgingly look after his Shakespeare-loving uncle, a former actor who has grown old and infirm but still yearns for a diet of attention and applause that clearly he feels his nephew can provide.

– – David is a total drama queen, a former actor and teacher, and a Shakespeare-lover, he lives in a ramshackle and messy house, living on tinned soup. Electric heaters are placed between precariously stacked books and magazines and he spends his time reciting King Lear. Chambers returns to London to look after his uncle and capture his final stages of life on camera.

Mark Adams, Business Doc Europe

Language: English
Subtitles: partial English
Length: 84 min
Age Limit: K7
Year: 2022
Production Country: UK, Ireland

Director: Simon Chambers
Producer: David Rane
Production Company: Soilsiú Films
Distribution Company: Soilsiú Films
Screenplay: Simon Chambers
Editing: Claire Ferguson, Simon Chambers
Cinematographer: Simon Chambers
Music: Irene Buckley
Sound Design: Frédéric Hamelin, Sylviane Bouget