In Waltham, Massachusetts there is a cemetery where 310 unidentified people are buried. Graves are marked only with a letter and a number. "C" stands for Catholic and "P" for Protestant, the number indicating the order in which they were buried. The cemetery, known as the Metfern Cemetery, served as a burial site for patients housed within the walls of nearby mental institutions. Hidden among the trees of Beaver Brook Reservation, Metfern Cemetery is only accessible by hiking trails. 310 lives suspended in anonymity.
Metfern Cemetery is just one of the hundreds of cemeteries of its kind. The feature-length documentary The Fate of Human Beings uncovers the stories of people with disabilities and mental illnesses buried in mental institution cemeteries across the United States. Through archival and present-day material, this film explores the depersonalization of people with disabilities and mental illnesses, seeking to understand how best to create an inclusive society.