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The PBS Funeral Documentary That Won An Emmy Award

February 25, 2016 | | Comments 0

Ken Kutzli of Lynch & Sons prepares a body for embalming.

It isn’t often that the entertainment industry gets the funeral industry right.

In 2007, a documentary bucked that trend. The documentary, The Undertaking was a look by PBS’s Frontline program into the work and lives of the Lynch & Sons funeral directors in the towns of Milford and Clawson, Michigan.

The Undertaking was originally a book written by Thomas Lynch.   While the original book focused on the experiences of Lynch as the Undertaker, the film follows the families Lynch’s funeral home serves.  Cameras follow families through their process of dealing with terminal illnesses, and tracks the way they deal with issues of funerals, burial, and cremations.

For PBS, The Undertaking received more positive responses from viewers than any other documentary developed by Frontline at that time. The University of Michigan created a study guide inspired by the documentary that’s being distributed to major seminaries, hospice programs and mortuary schools across the county.

The documentary also won the Emmy Award for Best News & Documentary that year.

The Undertaking can be seen in its entirety online at PBS Frontline’s site.

Filed Under: Funeral Industry

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