Horror Movie Director Puts the End of Life in a Positive Light

Movie Review: The Nurse With the Purple Hair

By Christopher Joshi


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Sean Cunningham is a movie producer and director best known for the original Friday the 13th. In his horror movies, Cunningham plays on people’s fear of death. But in a new documentary, The Nurse With the Purple Hair, he shows us that death doesn’t have to be scary. Through the compassionate care provided by Michelle Lasota, the eponymous hospice nurse the movie follows, we see that the experiences of people near the end of their lives can be inspiring, beautiful, and peaceful.

Michelle was working as an ICU nurse in Los Angeles when her father unexpectedly passed away at age 36. Feeling that she missed out on taking care of her father, Michelle turned to hospice. In this warm and inspiring documentary, we learn how Michelle and her team care for the minds, bodies, and spirits of their patients. We hear about “good” deaths and “hard” deaths and about the comfort hospice care can provide. As one family member explains, hospice helps you “live that best life, at the end of life.”

Cunningham hopes the film with help people understand the true nature and potential of hospice care. He also urges us to “be brave enough to have an end-of-life conversation that matters.” The Conversation Starter Kit can help. It’s freely available as a tool to help individuals talk with their loved ones about their end-of-life care wishes.

Have you seen The Nurse With the Purple Hair? Did the film change the way you think of hospice care? We hope it inspired you to begin the discussion about the type of care you’d like to receive near the end of life.

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