A Certain Kind of Death | Chicago Reader

A Certain Kind of Death

Or “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the County Morgue but Were Afraid to Ask.” Documentary filmmakers Blue Hadaegh and Grover Babcock follow three corpses through the Los Angeles county coroner's system, from site of death to cremation to auctioning of personal effects. The film captures the challenges facing employees of the coroner's office when confronted with bodies that have little to identify them or have no apparent next of kin, and even at its most gruesome-and it's mighty grim at times—it's never exploitive or cheaply lurid the way HBO's Autopsy series frequently is. Still, its take on the proceedings is as perfunctory and clinical as the work being shown, and it allows the bodies and the workers to remain depersonalized throughout. 69 min.

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