“Death Valley: A Love Story” is a film about grief and loss based on the stage play by Sandra Fenichel Asher.
Created by Natural Light Films and sponsored by the Samaritan Counseling Center, this film is an emotionally honest exploration of love, loss and the grieving process. Additionally, it illustrates the powerful role of creative expression in restoring balance and hope.
This film about grief was inspired by the real journals of therapists and artists Carol Emerson and David Nutter.
It begins with the ecstatic days of new love, which all too quickly transition to a diagnosis of cancer and the trials of chemotherapy. Viewers journey with Carol through the peaks and valleys of renewed and dashed hope, the agonizing recognition of David’s imminent death, and the depths of sorrow and loss that followed.
The music David loved and selections from his photography, along with the colors and textures of Carol’s art and the mindful whisperings of her journal entries, weave throughout the film.
This artistry of this film about grief traces the course of loss and grief, and reminds you again and again to the love that is greater than death.
Death Valley: A Love Story Trailer
Therapeutic Guide to Film About Grief & Loss
A 28-page therapeutic guide on grief and loss accompanies the “Death Valley: A Love Story” film. Designed by licensed therapists at Samaritan, Herb Landis and Judith Kennedy, this guide serves as a gentle companion through the landscapes of grief.
The therapeutic guide on grief and loss can be used in a group setting spanning 10 to 12 sessions that has a facilitator and, ideally, no more than 12 members. Groups can also be broken into sub-groups of 2 or 3 for confidential and emotionally-safe sharing.
However, the guide may also be used individually and does not need to be used sequentially.
Our therapists encourage individuals to go through the guide slowly, gently and reflectively with the promptings and poetry.
It’s also important to be sensitive to your experience and seek support as needed.
Presentations & Workshops
Samaritan Counseling Center offers teaching, presentations, and film screenings with facilitated discussions for churches, retirement homes, grief support groups and mental health professionals.
These presentations are led by partnering consultant and licensed therapist Herb Landis, LCSW, BCD, who has 25 years of clinical experience in grief and complicated grief.
Presentations typically fall into the two categories below, but they can be further customized to meet the needs of the audience. This customization can include adding clinical information so trainings qualify for continuing education units for mental health professionals.
Interested in booking a presentation for your organization or faith community? Contact us here or call 717-560-2805 to speak with our consulting division.
The Art & Soul of Grief
A 1-hour teaching presentation with video clips from, “Death Valley: A Love Story,” and a PowerPoint that explores the messy and non-linear journey of grief. Interwoven throughout the presentation are clinical aspects of grief, stories and details about how the film, “Death Valley: A Love Story,” came about.
At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to identify normal emotions associated with grief and loss, describe the value of creative arts in the grieving process, better understand and identify posthumous disillusionment, list three ways mindfulness can assist in the grieving process, and explain the differences between linear and circular grieving.
Film Screening & Discussion
A 1 1/2 to 2 hour presentation that includes a short presentation, a full screening of “Death Valley: A Love Story,” and a facilitated discussion afterward with a licensed therapist.
At the conclusion of the program, participants will be able to explain the value of arts for dealing with grief and loss, describe the experience of approaching death from the perspective of someone who recently lost a loved one, and explain the value of reflecting on memories as part of the grieving process.
Purchasing The Film & Therapeutic Guide On Grief & Loss
The cost of the DVD and Therapeutic Guide is $35.00, plus $5.00 for shipping & handling and the 6 percent Pennsylvania sales tax (only applies to Pennsylvania residents).
You can purchase the DVD and guide in a number of ways:
- Click the button below to purchase online through PayPal. You can checkout as a guest and do not need a PayPal account to purchase.
- Download this form and submit with payment.
- Contact the Samaritan Counseling Center at 717-560-9969 to pay by phone.
For orders of 10 or more, or for any other questions, please contact Anita Hanna at 717-560-9969, extension 244. If you are interested in purchasing the DVD without the guide, please contact Andrea at Natural Light Films.
The Funding of This Project
This project was initially made possible by a generous, anonymous donor who had the inspiration after seeing the original play by Sandra Fenichel Asher. For information about the stage play, please click here.
Any proceeds from Samaritan Counseling Center’s sale of this film on grief and loss and the guide will be used to subsidize fees for clients who need counseling but cannot afford the full fee for services.