While many have speculated that David Bowie's 'Lazarus' song and video was about his struggle with terminal cancer, it turns out that the singer didn't actually know he was dying until the video shoot itself according to an upcoming documentary which airs this week. 

David BowieDavid Bowie discovered his cancer was terminal in final three months

'David Bowie: The Last Five Years' hits screens this weekend on BBC Two and in it we will learn that David Bowie only discovered that his cancer was no longer beatable three months ahead of his death on January 10th 2016. Which makes 'Lazarus' prophetic as opposed to a final farewell from Bowie.

The 69-year-old star was in the process of making his spooky, David Lynch-esque 'Lazarus' video - which saw him laying and trembling in a hospital bed with bandages over his eyes affixed with buttons - when he found out that his treatment was going to be stopped. The video's director Johan Renck commented on the situation in the new documentary.

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'I found out later that the week we were shooting is when he found out that it is over', he said. 'We'll end treatment or whatever capacity that means, that his illness has won.' He also insisted that the video was not an exploration of the singer's sickness. 'To me it had to do with the biblical aspect of it, you know the man who would rise again, and it had nothing to do with him being ill', he added. 'That was only because I liked the imagery of it.'

The documentary is directed by Francis Whately as a follow-up to his 2013 project 'David Bowie: Five Years'. It is due to explore not only the making of his iconic final album 'Blackstar', but also his 2003 to 2004 'A Reality Tour'. It will air on BBC Two on Saturday (January 7th 2017) at 9pm UTC.