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In the Trenches of Life and Death

Both transcendent and troubling, Farewell to Hollywood documents the final days of a remarkable young filmmaker’s struggle with cancer

Reggie Nicholson

When we first meet Reggie Nicholson, co-director and central subject of the astonishing and troubling documentary Farewell to Hollywood, she's 19 years old and she's already dead. Her body has already been cremated, in fact, and the film’s opening scene is of her ashes being prepared for what appears to be an impromptu burial. Curiously, the group handling her burial is not her family, who we’re informed via voiceover were not invited to the funeral, as per Nicholson’s last wishes. Due to the slightly confusing nonlinear narrative, we’re not even sure her parents have even been informed their daughter has passed away.

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