Manila North Cemetery in Manila, Philippines is a place of rest for 3000 people, all of whom are alive.  When rich families first erected mausoleums in the late 1800s, they needed people to maintain them and guard any valuables buried within.  In exchange for their work, caretakers were allowed to live inside the mausoleums, and a cemetery community was born.  Some residents are part of a long legacy of caretaking families; others are new transplants who have found a way to make a living.  Gravekeepers grow gardens around tombs; chefs cook up hearty fare in crypt-side restaurants; and children play basketball in between school and funerals.  But the graveyard is not always peaceful, and their way of life is being threatened on multiple fronts.  Thieves and drug dealers beget violence, while city officials demolish homes in an effort to evict the residents.  Likewise, residents' own families suffer poignant personal crises: one caretaker must face the task of burying his own relative within the grounds, while a teenage boy must undergo an exorcism lest forever be possessed by the spirits he disturbed.  Will the community survive?  Or is this the death of a cemetery? 


In a place where exhumations, witch doctors, and supernatural entities are part of daily routine, the biggest dangers resident face are universal to the human condition.  'Death Of A Cemetery' is a ghost tale, a biopic, and a family drama.  But most importantly, it is a call to raise the standards of living for those in developing countries.

A Slice of Life in a Place of Death...

© 2012 Death of a Cemetery ❘ Empyreal Productions