27 minutes, colour, sound, subtitled English, HD (Smartphone camera + 4K), 2019
A film by Oreet Ashery
Dying Under Your Eyes explores the sudden death of Daniel, Ashery’s elderly father, in 2018. The film unravels the processes of ageing, dying, grief and intimate surveillance as witnessed on the artist’s smart phone. Like a detective, Dying Under Your Eyes follows the circumstances leading to Daniel’s death, alongside otherworldly rituals of beckoning, mourning, devotion and play performed by two family members.
Through the eyes of their carer Nishanti, Dying Under Your Eyes narrates the daily routines leading up to Daniel’s fall and subsequent hospitalisation and Haya, Ashery’s mother’s, move into a care home. The film’s delicate tone and piercing soundtrack underscores the charged atmosphere of looming decline. Ashery captures her father’s playfulness, possibly shadowed by undiagnosed dementia, while documenting her parent’s relationship through a series of intimate exchanges that often address the camera. At points Ashery dresses up as her father, attempting to embody, process and make sense of the rapid, moving and confronting story of loss and love.
© Dying Under Your Eyes has been commissioned by Wellcome Collection, 2019.