Conversations around death, dying, and grief are happening in many mainstream movies, TV shows, podcasts, music, and other forms of media. This year I’ve already found myself gravitating toward new releases that tickle that itch just as well.

The world is also witnessing war, genocides, and colonial violence through social media. This real-world death is a reminder of our privileged position. With this reality in mind, we have also highlighted some important educational pieces of media.

The Best TV, Books, Podcasts, and Movies About Death and Dying in 2024 (that we love, so far)

tv books podcasts films about death and dying


Kali Yuga: The Empath’s Nightmare by SIM 

SIM’s Kali Yuga: The Empath’s Nightmare requires patience; you need to listen to the album from start to finish to get the full experience. The genre is hard to define, but if you are a fan of R&B, trap, or house music, you will appreciate the build up and release of intensity in a bass-heavy beat and beautifully existential lyricism. I love the way this album moves through the beginning of life through death and beyond, highlighting the spiritual empowerment of the Black experience.


In April, the Chicago Palestine Film Festival, an event that has been ongoing for 23 years, completely sold out. You can watch the films featured in the festival here.

Released in 2023 in Japan, and just this year in the US, Evil Does Not Exist follows Takumi and his daughter Hana who live in Mizubiki Village, close to Tokyo. One day, the village inhabitants become aware of a plan to build a camping site near Takumi’s house, offering residents a comfortable escape to nature. The film explores themes of death, grief, and guilt.

Monkey Man, directed by Dev Patel is a new horror that depicts an anonymous young man unleashing a campaign of vengeance against the corrupt leaders who murdered his mother and continues to systematically victimize the poor and powerless.

Exhuma is a 2024 South Korean film directed by Jan Jae-hyun that follows the mystery of excavating an ominous grave, unleashing dreadful consequences buried underneath.

Mother’s Instinct is a 2024 psychological thriller directed by Benoît Delhomme and an adaptation of the 2012 novel by the same name. This film follows two suburban mothers with children of similar ages, one is present for the death of the other’s son, and revenge, grief, and more create tension in their relationship.

Honorable Mention is the 2022 release Bury Me at Taylor Hollow, a documentary that follows John Christian Phifer creating the first natural burial ground in Tennessee. ‘Bury Me at Taylor Hollow’ follows the growing pains of Larkspur Conservation as they set out to buy land for both natural burial and conservation. In light of the climate crisis, it’s an unforgettable and hopeful glimpse into an alternative approach to death and dying in America.”

TalkDeath will be hosting a virtual screening of the film on Thursday, June 13th 8pm ET/ 7pm CT/ 6pm MT/ 5pm PT! The documentary is 55 minutes long, we will have a 5 minute intermission, and then a 30 minute Q&A. This event is free but you must RSVP to attend!


With only a pilot released so far, I am already obsessed with the new British mockumentary titled DEAD, created by Arron Black, Darius Shu, and Joanna Bool where Ruby (Joanna Bool) fights to save Winnet’s Funeral Home from closure amid death threats and complaints, while her non-binary sibling Kelly (Arron Blake) continues to post videos of dead bodies on TikTok. You can watch the entire pilot for free on YouTube.


9780735242036Coexistence by Billy-Ray Belcourt

This was one of my most anticipated releases this year and I was not disappointed by the reading experience. The first story where a grieving mother calls out to her faraway son immediately had me in tears. A quote that will forever stick with me is this,

“In bed, Louise’s body feels heavy with the day’s proceedings. Then, for a moment, she swears she can smell her husband. His aroma swirls around her once again – soil, sweat, a hint of gasoline. It fades as quickly as it emerged, but she understands at last that he hasn’t left her entirely. Sometimes to remember is enough, she thinks, then she says it out loud.”

The additional stories recount a variety of queer Cree experiences that showcase both the mundane and the imbalanced resilience Indigenous people must face to get through life.

The Final Farewell: Exploring the End of Life by Minakshi Dewan

The Final FarewellThis book explores the many ways in which some of the country’s major faiths treat the dead: this includes avoidance of human remains, believed by some to be spiritual pollutants; the worship of bodies at the pyre; professional mourners hired to wail loudly for the dead; musicians devoted to celebrating life at funerals; and how final rites and rituals reveal the misogyny and caste-based discrimination.

We were fortunate enough to interview Dr. Minakshi Dewan and gained even more insight on the process of writing and publishing this book. You can read the interview here.

81gc1lurK2L. AC UF1000,1000 QL80Briefly Perfectly Human by Alua Arthur

Our friend Alua Arthur’s new memoir was released in April this year, titled Briefly Perfectly Human. We will be reading this for an upcoming TalkDeath Book Club, so all we have for now is the summary “For her clients and everyone who has been inspired by her humanity, Alua Arthur is a friend at the end of the world. As our country’s leading death doula, she’s spreading a transformative message: thinking about your death—whether imminent or not—will breathe wild, new potential into your life.”


I have been loving The Breakup Theory Podcast in general – a podcast that focuses on the ending of things. Specifically the episode with Sebastian Merrill on Poetry, Transition, and ghosts. “In this conversation, Shuli and Sebastian use his book [Ghost :: Seeds] as a frame to think about transition, the narratives we carry along and try to break with, relating with our ghosts and our grief, the absurdity of gender, and what liberation even means.”

Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Another podcast on my rotation is The Red Nation Podcast which features discussions on Indigenous history, politics, and culture from a left perspective. The episode that I think deserves more attention especially is Native Deaths by Suicide & Settler Colonialism: A Critical Perspective w/Jeffrey Ansloos, where they talk about the many historical, social, and racialized connections between suicide in Indigenous communities and drinking water advisories.

One of my favorite ways to channel my own grief and interest in how we collectively talk about death is seeing how it appears in various media platforms. Conversations around death, dying, and grief are happening in many mainstream movies, TV shows, podcasts, music, and other forms of media. This year I’ve already found myself gravitating toward new releases that tickle that itch just as well.


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