Release Date: March 17, 2020
I can only imagine plenty of ghost stories concerning those buried in Eastern Cemetery exist after watching the documentary Facing East. its sordid history is ripe to create paranormal phenomena, and its creation is simply due to greedy businessmen than trusting humanitarians managing this 25 acre land. You’d think that’s enough room for those Louisville citizens who wanted to be buried here.
This property also gave last rites to those who can’t afford it in the early days of its establishment. Two Methodist churches created the grounds during 1844, and their goal was to allow anyone from any (race or belief) to be buried here. The 1880 cholera epidemic created more problems and no matter what, the norm was to at least inter the body underground. All the history you need to know is vividly presented, and I could not help but feel sad for what the parishioners wanted as a final resting place to those who later get “dumped” with no disregard to the original inhabitants.
Ownership changed. Tommy Baker’s documentary suggests it remained under certain influential hands. It’s a fascinating glimpse at those individuals who were just as bad as Chicago’s mass murderer H.H. Holmes, and sadly nothing was done for approximately 30 decades until one employee blew the whistle.
A lot of information is presented about the past by those who knew, some who questioned and led up to those who want to change this graveyard’s history for the better. It’s a terrifying glimpse at the inhumanity done to those who passed and probably are not so restful in the afterlife. While not all cultures are concerned for the remains that stay on Earth, others consider it just one aspect of what makes up the soul. To treat bodies like spare parts is something out of cyberpunk, but for those who need a presence to pay respect to (and you can’t find the marker for it), that’s just taking apathy to a whole new level.
Sadly, over the decades of neglect and “lack of resources”, the place has been vandalized. It’s tough to look at history of any sort get desecrated. Graveyard art is just as important and unique to the tradition of mortuary practices. The older those headstones are, the more significant they mean to cement those legacies. People should never be forgotten, and Baker’s film sweetly reminds us of that.
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