Three professions ushered Black former slaves from poverty to the American dream: preacher, teacher, and undertaker. Lewis Funeral Home has functioned within this tradition, having been a pillar of the Black community in San Antonio, Texas since 1909. While Black funeral homes close across America as a result of the loss of Black neighborhoods and gentrification, Lewis’ current chief embalmer James Bryant cares deeply about this institution after a career of preparing over 10,000 bodies. And he’s damn good at it, having been named the National Embalmer of the Year in 2016. Now, James puts his faith in a new generation to continue this vanishing legacy. He’s met with resistance from his young intern, Clarence Pierre, who himself is conflicted about his commitment due to the judgment he feels from the Black community as a queer, Christian man.
Directed by Nathan Clarke, Produced by Lana Garland and Tyler Trumbo