The Center for Documentary Studies and the Southern Documentary Fund are pleased to present a free screening of director Lisa Sorg’s, A Sense of the Fitness of Things, a film that confronts the mystery and pain of impermanence in death. The film will screen at CDS and is presented as part of the Fresh Docs series featuring documentary works-in-progress; following the screenings, a moderated conversation with the filmmaker(s) will be held, during which the audience provides valuable feedback.
A Sense of the Fitness of Things
Friday, April 29, 7 p.m.
Full Frame Theater, American Tobacco Campus
320 Blackwell St., Durham, North Carolina
Don Byrne, his wife and two young children live on a rural Chatham County farmstead without indoor plumbing or electricity. As part of his meditative life, Don handcrafts pine coffins using wood from North Carolina: “When I set out to make a coffin, I try to donate one breath to the intention of making something that’s worthy of the person who will use it.” That person is 90-year-old Sarah Overton Partridge, who is in the final stage of Alzheimer’s. Sarah’s daughter, Ann, who has hired Don to make a coffin for her mother, struggles with the sadness of her mother’s decline but also welcomes her death as a release from suffering. As Don works to finish it before Sarah’s death, both families confront the mystery and pain of impermanence.
Lisa Sorg is a journalist, editor, documentary filmmaker and photographer. She earned a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from Indiana University in 1992 and a certificate in documentary arts from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in 2010. While at CDS, she directed, produced and edited three shorts: “That Rockin’ Motion,” “The Pink House” and “Winged Invasion,” the latter of which screened at the Strange Beauty Film Festival and AliceFest. Since 1994, Sorg has won more than 30 awards for her work in news, features, public interest and investigative reporting, commentary, food, profile writing and sports. She served as the editor of the INDY for eight years, and now writes for the hyperlocal news outlet,, plus The Durham News and Coastal Review Online. She is also a contributing editor atOur State magazine. Originally from Indiana, she has lived with her husband, Dennis, in Durham since 2006. In her “spare” time, she photographs weird scenes, items and notes on the street, then features them on her blog, 36degreeslatitude.org.
Visit the Facebook for the A Sense of the Fitness of Things film here.