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Extreme Embalming

1
Episodes
60
Minutes
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Genre: Factual
Production Year: 2016
Format:

Broadcaster: Channel 5
Producer: Avanti Media

Extreme Embalming goes behind the headlines and viral videos to give an eye-opening account of what happens behind the scenes of those lifelike funerals where the dead appear to come alive one last time. In Victorian times it was all the rage to pose the dearly departed as if they were still alive. The trend eventually died out, until 2008 when this post-mortem phenomenon was resurrected in the US and Puerto Rico. In this documentary, John Harris of T Cribb & Sons, one of the UK's oldest and most respected funeral directors, heads to Puerto Rico to find out why families celebrate their loved ones passing in such an unusual way. There, he meets Felix, who is responsible for many of the country's headline-grabbing embalmings. He reveals the secrets behind some of the embalming techniques used, including how the eyes of tragic murder victim Fernando Diaz Beato were kept open for his funeral. In New Orleans, we also meet high-profile funeral director Louis Charbonnet, who helped the family of jazz band legend Uncle Lionel Batiste give the much-loved musician an unforgettable send-off. His work on the farewell of beer and American football-loving Mae Mae Burbank also made the front page of The New York Times. Meanwhile, in Ohio, the children of biker Bill Standley reveal how they spent 20 years helping their father plan every detail of his own extraordinary funeral.

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