Anthony Bourdain took part in an 'ancient death ritual' with Darren Aronofsky months before his suicide

Anthony Bourdain took part in an 'ancient death ritual' with Darren Aronofsky months before his suicide
Athony Bourdain (Source : Getty Images)

Antony Bourdain's alleged suicide came as a shock to most people and several celebrities have taken to social media to mourn the celebrated chef, author, and TV personality. While his long history with depression and substance abuse was quite well known, it was revealed  in the season finale of his CNN show 'Parts Unknown' that he had participated in an ancient death ritual in Bhutan.

The episode, which aired on Sunday — about two weeks after his suicide — shows the celebrity chef and his close friend and 'Black Swan' director Darren Aronofsky travel across Bhutan in South Asia.

They seem to be eating and dining with traditional yak herders in the Himalayas, especially in the capital city of Thimpu, reported Eater.

In one particular scene, a local man explains the country's religion, which is Bhutanese Buddhism and, as per him, it is meant to remind people “time and again, not to take things too seriously. This is, in fact, an illusion.”

To this, Bourdain responds with his own philosophy of life, saying: “Life is but a dream." Panning a shot of mesmerising mountain ranges, he continues with a narration, sharing: "It is considered enlightening and therapeutic to think about death for a few minutes a day."

Darren Aronofsky speaks onstage during the BAM Gala 2018 honoring Darren Aronofsky, Jeremy Irons, and Nora Ann Wallace at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on May 30, 2018 in New York City (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Brooklyn Academy of Music)

In an article for CNN — the network which aired Bourdain's award-winning show — director Aronofsky shared his reflective opinion on the nature of travels that he and the later chef undertook together. “It seems ironic now that, on our last day of shooting, we performed a Bhutanese death ritual,” Aronofsky wrote. “We debated the fate of the country, the fate of the world. He was perplexed as to how mankind’s endless hunger to consume could be curtailed.”


The footage of the finale is from about six months ago and it ended season 11 of the show which had already started filming for season 12. While it is unclear if or how the network plans to air it, it is known that Bourdain took his own life while filming for the same season at a location in France.

He was found dead from hanging in his hotel room in Kayersberg, France. His partner on the show, Eric Rupert, is the one who found him after he failed to show up for their designated breakfast together in the morning. Bourdain was 61 at the time of his passing. 

But the news of him having partaken in such ritual doesn't really come as surprize as he himself had revealed in his book 'Medium Raw', that, after the failure of his first marriage in 2005, he was "aimless and regularly suicidal.”


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