“When it comes to death and funerals, African-American people, we have our own way,” says Isaiah Owens.

Homegoings' Isaiah Owens in Harlem. Credit: Marshall Stief.

Homegoings’ Isaiah Owens in Harlem. Credit: Marshall Stief.

“It has worked for us throughout the ages; it has kept us balanced, sane. And everybody know[s] that it’s going to be a sad, good time.”

Homegoings is booked as being an “inspiring portrait of a legendary harlem undertaker (Owens)” along with a strong focus on African American funeral traditions.

Admit it. You’re curious.

“Whatever our beliefs, death is something we all must face, and yet it is so often a taboo subject. With Homegoings, I wanted to open a conversation on death in a way that captured grief and sadness, but also the humor and the sense of relief that I sometimes observed from behind the camera.” – Christine Tuner

Homegoings premieres on POV’s 26th season on PBS, Monday, June 24, 2013.

Homegoings Synopsis

Through the eyes of funeral director Isaiah Owens, the beauty and grace of African-American funerals are brought to life. Filmed at Owens Funeral Home in New York City’s historic Harlem neighborhood, Homegoings takes an up-close look at the rarely seen world of undertaking in the black community, where funeral rites draw on a rich palette of tradition, history and celebration. Combining cinéma vérité with intimate interviews and archival photographs, the film paints a portrait of the dearly departed, their grieving families and a man who sends loved ones “home.”

Christine Turner’s debut feature documentary, Homegoings has its national broadcast premiere on Monday, June 24, 2013, at 10 p.m. (check local listings), kicking off the 26th season of the award-winning PBS series POV (Point of View). American television’s longest-running independent documentary series, POV was recently honored with a 25-year retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art’s 2013 Documentary Fortnight (where Homegoings had its world premiere) and a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.