"Funeral Diaries" 2019

Funeral Diaries

The daily bread of ministers of small congregations is not sermons in the church; it is constant work with the old and the dying. A holy man who has been removed from his friends and peers and suddenly transplanted into another culture is often lonely and broken himself.

Three ministers have been invited from Estonia to serve the exile congregations in Toronto. By now, the main job of Jüri, Kalle and Mart is to bury the generation that fled Estonia in 1944. The documentary uses burials to talk about the disappearance of traditional funeral services and the profession of clergyman. The everyday life of the three protagonists tells a bigger story of church, faith and a fading émigré identity. The main characters have a modern and bright outlook on life and while practicing a past profession try to adopt to the ever-changing world where everything old and familiar slips through the fingers like handful of dust.

Director & Cinematopgrapher:
Marko Raat
Madli Lääne
Sound Design:
Harmo Kallaste
Producer & Sound:
Ivo Felt
92 min / DCP / 1:1.85 / 5.1
Domestic release 30 January 2019
MP still4

“Funeral Diaries” festivals:


  • DocPoint 2019, Estonia / opening film
  • DOK.Fest München 2019, Germany
  • Pärnu Documentary FF 2019, Estonia
    • Special mention
  • RuhnuRahu Festival 2019, Estonia
  • Estonian Documentary Guild Award ‘Doki Kild’ 2019, Estonia
  • EstDocs 2019, Canada
    • Censored from the program
  • The Fine Arts Film Festival 2020, USA
"Funeral Diaries" 2019