Facing East

2019

Documentary

0
IMDb Rating 6.2 10 36

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
January 18, 2021 at 12:54 AM

Director

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
858.79 MB
1280*714
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 33 min
P/S 4 / 3
1.72 GB
1920*1072
English 5.1
NR
24 fps
1 hr 33 min
P/S 1 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by schmelerfleck 2 / 10

Potentially interesting story, poorly told.

There was a story to be told here, but it is buried in repetition, long unedited talking-head interviews that don't come together, terrible pacing and lots of footage of crooked headstones. By the end, I was just angry at the filmmakers.

Reviewed by BandSAboutMovies 4 / 10

Frightening

With over 100,000 documented disturbed burials, the owners and operators of Louisville, Kentucky's Eastern Cemetery reused the same graves over and over, taking advantage of low-income families.

25 years after the cemetery was left abandoned, the Friends of Eastern Cemetery was formed to take care of the graves, so that those buried there would at least have some dignity.

This movie tells their story.

The overburying at Eastern Cemetery began all the way back in 1885. To give an idea of how bad of an issue this was, the cemetery was nearly thirty acres in size. The funeral industry recommends a thousand bodies by buried by acre, but thanks to the mass pauper graves in Eastern, some feel believed that at least 138,000 are buried there. That's nearly 100,000 more bodies than should be, if you don't feel like doing the math.

This is director Tommy Baker's first documentary and he's picked a fascinating topic. Perhaps not the escape you're seeking in these dark times, but worth a watch.

Reviewed by ferguson-6 7 / 10

a story unearthed

Greetings again from the darkness. The story of the Eastern Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky is disheartening, yet somehow not overly surprising. It's known as the most over-buried cemetery in America, and while the practice of over-burying - more than one body per plot - can be traced to greed, the shocking part here is the length of time it has evidently been business-as-usual at this particular cemetery.

The sign posted at the entrance states Eastern Cemetery was founded in 1848. In 1885 the "Louisville Journal" was reporting on mass pauper graves at the site, with 2-3 bodies per grave. This is Tommy Baker's first feature length documentary and he provides us the statistics we need to fully comprehend the story. Eastern Cemetery is 29.6 acres, and the industry standard is 1000 bodies per acre. Records indicate 138,000 bodies can be traced to the cemetery, including the mass pauper graves from the mid-19th century. So yes, Eastern exceeds the standard by more than 100,000 bodies.

Mr. Baker opens the film with archival footage of a courtroom case involving the cemetery, but as we learn, despite ceasing operations in 1989, no one has been held accountable. Three chapters provide the film's structure: History, Interrogation, and Friends of Eastern. History is important to establish the foundation of what occurred, but it's the words of those interviewed who make this an emotional story to follow. The impact really strikes a chord when a family member reminds us that our society strives to bury the dead with dignity. She proclaims that at Eastern, a loved one's final resting place is neither final nor restful.

We hear from the director of Cave Hill Veterans Cemetery, a graveyard that shares a property boundary/wall with Eastern, and has ten times the land. We hear of the ownership and involvement of the Methodist Church, as well as the affiliation with Greenwood Cemetery. Eastern housed Louisville's first crematorium, and in 1989 when the re-using of plots became public knowledge, the cemetery ceased operations. It was at this point where things somehow got worse. The graveyard fell into disrepair due to neglect, and a sad situation turned shameful.

As is often the case, money provided an answer. A misappropriation of perpetual care trust funds meant there was no money for upkeep. Family members were angry and frustrated. After 25 years of failed court cases and legal wranglings, a non-profit organization called Friends of Eastern began to clean-up the site and re-store it to a proper condition. Frank Whitaker is our narrator through this sad saga with heart-breaking segments like "babyland", and we come to understand how Eastern became the most over-buried cemetery in America ... but we are discouraged to learn there are others.

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