The Nurse with the Purple Hair is a warm and inspiring documentary about end-of-life care. The film features hospice nurse Michelle Lasota and is directed by world-renowned filmmaker Sean Cunningham. The film honors hospice professionals and the mind-body-spirit services they provide.

Our message is simple: Be brave enough to have an end-of-life conversation that matters.

The Nurse with the Purple Hair shows what hospice care is and what it can be. We want to start a quiet revolution through increased awareness and education.

We’ve screened the film for focus groups from Vitas Healthcare, Skirball, and Kaiser Permanente. Here’s what viewers have said:

– A catalyst to break through American culture’s denial of death.
– A great tool to bring awareness to what hospice is really about.
– Takes the mystery and fear out of hospice and dying.
– I feel brave, inspired, and honored to start a conversation that matters.
– A true look at a caring hospice nurse and the wonderful qualities of hospice care.

The Nurse with the Purple Hair

Michelle Lasota, BSN, RN, CHPN, CNIII

Michelle graduated as an RN in 2003. When Michelle’s father died unexpectedly in 2004, she was working as a surgical nurse at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. She returned to Philadelphia and switched to hospice nursing. She says: “It was a personal healing journey. For me, everything that I didn’t get to do for my dad I was now doing for all of these other people. So it was really important to me.”

Michelle serves as a level 3 RN on her hospice unit, and as preceptor  to nursing students to newly hired employees. In 2010 she received a UPHS nursing excellence award in recognition of Nurse/Patient-Family Relationships.

Michelle makes her home in Philadelphia. She has two little boys.

Sean Cunningham, Director

Sean Cunningham, one of today’s most successful independent filmmakers, is best known for Friday the 13th (1980), the low-budget movie that created a series of 12 sequels released all around the world. It remains one of the most popular horror films in history, and is considered one of the most successful media franchises in America. He revolutionized the content and production of independent motion pictures as both provocateur and horror great. He was an executive producer on the hit remakes of Friday the 13th and Last House on the Left. Cunningham also produced The Horror Show, My Boyfriend’s Back, Jason Goes to Hell, Jason X and the tremendously successful Freddy vs. Jason.

When Sean met Michelle at Fan Expo in Toronto he was captivated by her stories about hospice. Their conversation led to this documentary. Says Sean: “I was focusing on movie deaths and Michelle was focusing on real death. She said it didn’t have to be scary. She wasn’t grim or morbid. In fact, she has a sense of fun about her, which I never would’ve imagined. And things that she’s told me have changed my life.”