Breathing life into stone

  • 10 10
  • 2018
  • 79min
Breathing life into stone
  • Original Title: Breathing life into stone

This charming documentary explores the intimate journey of grief and healing as families work with a compassionate stonemason to create unique memorials, finding solace and connection in the transformation of stone.

Breathing life into stone

AWARDS: Ver.di Award. DOK Leipzig/ Honorable Mention Goethe-Institute. DOK Leipzig/ Ecumenical Award. Achtung Berlin Film Festival

Breathing life into stone - Healing, Intimate, Transformative

This deeply moving documentary takes us into the unique world of stonemason Michael Spengler, whose workshop in a circus wagon and shipping container becomes a sanctuary for those in mourning. Here, Spengler collaborates with grieving families to create bespoke headstones that capture the essence of their lost loved ones. The film intimately follows several families, including Mr. and Mrs. Neustadt, who lost their two-year-old son and seek to immortalize his breath in a delicate limestone sculpture. Hardburg Stolle, a woman of few words, finds cathartic strength in shaping stone under Spengler’s guidance. The Jacob family endeavors to distill their grandfather’s rich life into a single emblematic piece. Each story is a testament to the therapeutic power of this creative process, taking months of careful decision-making. As the stone transforms, so too do the families' relationships with their deceased, finding new connections to them and a renewed approach to life itself. The documentary poignantly shows how crafting these memorials makes the concept of death tangible and aids in the healing journey.

Katinka Zeuner
Katinka Zeuner Director

Production Companies

Katinka Zeuner

Curated Award-Winning Docs From Around The Globe

Best Documentary Films