Grayson Perry: Rites of Passage

Nominated – Best Specialist Factual, Broadcast Awards 2019

Watch all four episodes here

“Moving and revelatory series…Above all, it left one with a sense that there was something unifying and important about being human.” The Guardian (Five stars)

“This is profoundly touching television. Keep the tissues handy.” Evening Standard

“A profound, and profoundly moving, exploration of the nature of great loss.” Radio Times

“Mainstream documentary making at its most socially significant.” Saturday Review, BBC Radio 4

“Very delicate subjects were handled well and originally, with Perry managing to be thoughtful, challenging, even exuberant, without any sense of clod-hopping intrusion or insensitivity.” The Observer

“The celebrity potter and Turner Prize winner embarks on a colourful, four-part travelogue.” Financial Times (Five stars)

“Full of Perry’s idiosyncratic insight and delight.” The Telegraph

In a brand new four-part series for Channel 4, Grayson Perry will explore the landmark events in all of our lives – birth, coming of age, marriage and death – and try to reinvent them for our modern secular age. He’ll be travelling the world for inspiration, spending time with communities in the Amazon, Indonesia and Japan to see how they treat these great moments. Back home Grayson will collaborate with British families to devise ceremonies that will mark a genuine milestone in their lives.

Grayson believes in the power of ritual to help us make sense of our lives, and thinks we are in danger of losing our way when it comes to marking those important moments today. Religions all have their rituals – weddings, funerals, christenings– but the UK is now one of the most secular countries in the world, so they don’t always resonate with everyone. At their worst, they can feel empty and impersonal. And in a modern Britain of divorce, blended families and gay marriage, the traditional ceremonies don’t always fit with the way we actually live our lives.

In this series, Grayson will work with people who are going through those universal experiences, and try find out what they need and want from the ceremonies they’re about to go through. Then he’ll turn his unique artist-anthropologist’s eye on the ways in which other cultures mark the same moments, travelling around the world to see what we can learn from them. The final result will involve a ceremony that Grayson will help the families to design, as well as ritual art objects that Grayson will make. In its international sweep, and its focus on the universal experiences we all go through, this will be Grayson Perry’s most ambitious series yet.

4 x 1 Hours for Channel 4

Distributed by All3Media International


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