Pursuit of Loneliness
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What happens when someone dies and there's no record of any next of kin? Pursuit of Loneliness looks at that deeply personal and interpersonal question when an elderly woman dies anonymously in a county hospital. Four central characters - a nurse, a social worker, the emergency contact person listed on the admission form, and an investigator for the public administrator - try to find the deceased woman's family over the next twenty-four hours. Slowly but surely we watch as her belongings and personal effects are gathered and accounted for and we witness the bit-by-bit eradication and extinction of an individual. In a world that values possessions and comparative wealth, this is a cautionary tale of the preciousness of community and the importance of family. Pursuit of Loneliness is a very human story but it studies things that can be very inhumane - institutional health care, bureaucracy, money, apathy. It makes us ask ourselves whether people end up living in a certain way because they choose to or because society reduces them to it. Laurence Thrush wrote and directed Pursuit of Loneliness. Acclaimed artist William Basinski provides the soundtrack. The cast is comprised of real doctors, nurses and investigators from the Los Angeles Coroner's Office. The film blends elements of documentary realism within the confines of a strong narrative. Pursuit of Loneliness is set in Los Angeles where nearly 100 people work to identify the next of kin for unclaimed bodies at the public administrator's office.