The Book of Living & Dying

A mother diagnosed with cancer tries to escape her impending death by convincing her daughter to journey with her to Tibet.

  • Sara Yang
  • Sara Yang
  • Sarah Alli
  • Beatrice Cerezo
  • James Canellos
  • Doug Barron
    Key Cast
  • Erica Dorfler
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 35 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 28, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Sara Yang

Born & raised in Singapore, Sara Yang is a recent graduate of Emerson College's BFA Visual and Media Arts Program. Fascinated with various mediums of telling a story, The Book of Living & Dying, her Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Film at Emerson College combines elements of both stage and screen. She is currently based in Los Angeles, developing her next short film.

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Director Statement

Loosely adapted from a play of the same name, The Book of Living & Dying is a combines elements of the two mediums of theatre and film. I had the pleasure of watching the play by The Finger Players, re-staged at the Esplanade Studios in Singapore and was absolutely captivated. It was the most visually arresting play I’d seen, brilliantly staged in a black box. It has been bugging me for two years to respond to it. This time, I wanted to bring it from the stage to the screen.

A unique story of mother and daughter and their markedly different approaches toward death that is testament to their fundamentally different approach to living. They are an unconventional family. Martina, an Italian transgender, adopted Eve, an African-American orphan.

The characters of Martina and Eve and hold a special place in my heart. They are reminders of important figures in my life, people I meet in passing and others that I admire from afar. However different they may be, they are not exempt from the universal ordeal of death. They seek the same things we all seek; a measure of peace and a measure of joy.