Austin Film Festival film review: Song of the Cicada

Song of the Cicada written by Robert Weiss, directed by Aaron & Robert Weiss, had the world premiere at the Austin Film Festival recently and went on to win the Audience Award in the Documentary Feature category.

If you are interested and follow the culture and tradition of Dia de los Muertos, then death is not a taboo subject, nor is having a day or season for remembrance of loved ones who passed away. I have been told by friends they don’t celebrate death, nor view death as a reason to celebrate. After viewing the documentary featuring Galveston mortician Dale Carter, death is a very important part of his life and takes his career as something vital and necessary. He certainly expresses his views and how he cares. What started as a short film evolved into the feature as people who viewed it showed interest and/or became involved. His life and work is documented for more than a 10 year period and no doubt, there is still plenty of material recorded to create another story if the filmmakers want to.

Listening in to the Q&A with the filmmakers, they filmed and gathered content and just as they were considering stopping, Carter’s life was altered by changes their learned about and wanted to include. This happened up to and including COVID.

If there is one thing (among the many) I learned from the film is that there are people who really care about the work, preparing someone for the funeral, both the deceased and the living who mourn them. Carter cares about the families and their needs.

“Song of the Cicada” is screening at the Lone Star Film Festival in Fort Worth on Saturday, November 12th @ 12:30PM. To purchase tickets $10
To learn more about this and other upcoming screenings, visit

Source: Austin Film Festival, Lone Star Film Festival

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