Sound Design Edit & Mix by Alex Noyes
FUREVER is a quirky, educational, feature-length documentary that explores the dimensions of grief people experience over the loss of a pet. It examines the sociological evolution of pets in the U.S. today, particularly their position in a family unit, and how this evolution is affecting those in the veterinary profession and death care industry. With interviews from grieving pet owners, veterinarians, psychologists, sociologists, religious scholars, neuroscientists, and the many professionals who preserve a pet’s body for their devastated clientele, or re-purpose a pet’s cremains in unique ways (taxidermy, cloning, mummification, freeze-drying, and many more), FUREVER confronts contemporary trends, perspectives, and relevant cultural assumptions regarding attachment, religion, ritual, grief, and death, and studies the bonds that form between humans and animals, both psychological and physiological.
Sixty-two percent of Americans have a pet, and they spent a total of $52.9 billion on their pets last year. Many judge pet parents who choose to memorialize their dead pets as unbalanced, yet religious or cultural rituals for deceased people often seem unusual to outsiders. How “real” is grief for a dead pet and who decides what kind of grief is acceptable, or appropriate? Rather than pathetic or morbid, these pet parents embody America’s muddled attitudes toward death and dying, touching on our collective fear of aging, and how that fear is shaped by the shifting influences of religion, technology, family, and money.