Segments in this Video

Homegoings Intro (01:29)


Funeral Director, Isaiah Owens has been interested in funerals since he was a child. (Credits)

Owens Funeral Home, Inc. (02:26)

Funeral home staff load a casket into the hearse. African Americans have a unique approach to funerals.

Kathlena Wilson 1950-2010 (02:45)

See portions of Wilson's funeral service. In the African American culture, the person who performs the eulogy usually gets the attendees excited.

Celebrating a Return Home (01:45)

Kathlena Wilson's death has not "set in" for her daughter. See a portion of Wilson's funeral service and photographs from her life.

Isaiah's Calling (02:46)

Owens Funeral Home is a family operated business. Isaiah Owens prepares a woman for viewing. He reflects on the cause of many deaths and returning loved ones to a higher power.

Linda Williams-Miller 1954- (02:51)

Williams-Miller makes preparations for her funeral service at Owen's Funeral Home; she talks about death like she talks about living.

Future Funeral (02:55)

Linda Williams-Miller (aka Redd) finalizes preparations for her funeral service at Owen's Funeral Home.

Born to be a Funeral Director (03:34)

Isaiah Owens' mother works two days a week; she recalls Isaiah childhood activities. As Isaiah draws a service in the dirt, he recalls performing funerals for animals as a child.

South Carolina Upbringing (04:15)

Isaiah Owens recalls making friends with the funeral director as a child. He discusses the importance of undertakers in the black community and burying many of his family members.

Death Brings Justice (01:15)

Isaiah Owens discusses slave funerals.

Path to Owens Funeral Home (02:40)

While Isaiah Owens prepares a body, he discusses his arrival in New York City and the first body he prepared. Many New York funerals homes have gone out of business; Owens is not interested in selling.

Meeting the Undertaker (01:58)

Lillie Owens (Isaiah's wife) discusses her fear of the dead as a child and Isaiah's personality.

Petra Butler 1938-2009 (04:11)

Butler was a popular street vendor. Isaiah Owens' style is based on southern funeral traditions; he leads Butler's funeral parade. A Yoruba priestess speaks with Butler's voice.

Growing Up Around the Dead (02:21)

Chris Owens recalls his childhood. He enjoys the business aspects of the funeral home. Isaiah Owens looks through old photographs and recalls his first funeral.

Funeral Services Down by 65 (02:54)

The economy has affected Isaiah Owens' funeral business. He leads a family to their loved one's grave and prepares a woman for viewing; see pictures from her life.

Gladys Simons 1927-2009 (01:53)

Simons' grandson recalls learning of her death and discusses her modeling career. Isaiah Owens prepares her for viewing.

Gladys Simons 1927-2009 & Coda Simons 1922-2009 (04:05)

Coda died the day after making funeral arrangements for Gladys. Isaiah Owens prepares them for viewing. See portions of their funeral service.

Branchville (03:31)

Isaiah Owens mother celebrates her 95th birthday; she has her funeral already prepared. Isaiah reflects on his mother's funeral and being in the presence of death.

In the Midst of Life, We are in Death (02:30)

Isaiah Owens believes talking about death is healthy; he recalls a dream of flying to heaven. Owens prepares a woman for viewing.

Credits: Homegoings (04:03)

Credits: Homegoings

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3-Year Streaming Price: $199.95



Through the eyes of funeral director Isaiah Owens, the beauty and grace of African-American funerals are brought to life. Filmed at the Owens Funeral Home in Harlem and the rural South, Homegoings takes an up-close look at the rarely seen world of undertaking in the black community. It reveals the special status of undertakers; borne out of their permanence, their economic stability, and the necessities of the segregation period. Combining cinéma vérité with intimate interviews and archival photographs, the film paints a portrait of the dearly departed, their grieving families, and a man who sends loved ones “home.” With English subtitles. (57 minutes)

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: BVL57871

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Dealer customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.