April Lin 林森
Death is something that all beings experience, perhaps the one universal thing that unites all living things: across species, structures, and space. And yet, there remains a public hesitancy to engage with it, an implicit framing of death as something to approach as a tragedy, only ever accepted as the inevitable consequence of old age. At the same time, we are surrounded by death, especially as news of violence, illness, and conflict spreads within the digitalised and globalised world with increasing immediacy. Social media is a central pillar in the infrastructure of the online universe, and is equally pertinent in shaping the way we interact with death, including but not limited to the way we mourn, the way we understand the relationship between life and death, and the way we remember someone who has died. This can take many forms, from committing suicide on livestream platforms to viral homages following a celebrity’s passing. The ever-relevant question of death has thus entered into a new realm of understanding, a realm that is normal for younger generations of people whose formative years are entwined with the way that digital platforms encourage or restrict experimentation, mutual support, and personal expression. This normality means that death is entering a new paradigm of being felt, of being experienced, of being meaningful — and it is this paradigm that the film seeks to understand.