An Interview with Laura’s Choice Directors Sam Lara and Cathy Henkel – A Meditation on Compassion, Family, and the Difficult Discussions Along the Way


Every so often, a film comes across your way that manages to reinforce a life perspective that you’ve long felt alone with feeling. For me, the discussions about end of life care, and voluntary assisted dying, have been something that I’ve found that we all need to talk about more. As our community ages, we owe it to our loved ones to support their end of life journey in the manner that they feel is best for them.

Which is why I’m beyond grateful that I had the time to talk to filmmakers Sam Lara and Cathy Henkel about their powerful documentary, Laura’s Choice. This film follows Laura Henkel, an eccentric, outspoken, feisty 90-year-old who has decided she wants to end her life on her own terms. This interview is about how Sam and Cathy both approached Laura’s request for them both to make a film about her choice, and the path that it leads them down.

This synopsis may sound depressing, or difficult to bear, but that hides the joy and beauty within this film. It’s a story full of love, compassion, empathy, and most importantly, the support for the choice of a loved one, a mother, a grandmother, to decide to embark upon voluntary assisted dying. Laura’s Choice is a celebration of life, and for that, I’m beyond grateful that Sam, Cathy, and Laura, all trusted the audience with taking us down this journey.

Laura’s Choice will be screening at the WA Made Film Festival on Saturday, March 13th at 1:30pm. If you cannot attend this screening, then please view Laura’s Choice on ABC when it screens over two nights on March 17th and March 25th.

Please also follow Laura’s Choice on Facebook and Instagram.

Finally, thank you again to Sam Lara and Cathy Henkel for trusting me with this interview. Your words mean more than you will ever know.

If this discussion brings up some feelings that are hard to handle, then please get in contact with Lifeline (13 11 14) or Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636).

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Unseen Skies Director Yaara Bou Melhem Interview The Curb | Australian Culture, Film Reviews, Interviews, and More…

Filmmaker and award-winning journalist Yaara Bou Melhem makes their documentary debut with their impressive new film, Unseen Skies. Following artist-activist-writer-musician Trevor Paglen as he makes art out of the plentiful black op sites around the world, Unseen Skies interrogates what it means to be surveilled, what is happening with the wealth of data being collected from us, and more. It's a visually stunning film with a soaring score by Helena Czajka. Unseen Skies plays at the Sydney Film Festival on November 10th, November 13th, and will be available online via SFF On Demand on November 12th. Purchase tickets here. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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