Older Adults and Healthy Aging (Ages 13+)

Older Adults and Healthy Aging (Ages 13+)

The goal of this playlist is provide education audiences and aging-related disciplines with an intimate view of older adults, beyond the limitations of age and disease, and to refute the assumption of inevitable decline and frailty in older age. The playlist uses storytelling to provide the social dimension of the aging experience from the point of view of the elders themselves.

  • Martha
    2020|21 min

    Even at a frail 90, Martha Katz has an impish energy that remains undiminished. She chides grandson-filmmaker Daniel Schubert over his choice of shirt during a visit to her Los Angeles home, but there’s trauma beneath the humour. At 14, Martha and her family were torn from their village in Czechoslovakia and shipped to Auschwitz. A visit to a Holocaust museum ignites painful memories, including a haunting personal encounter with one of Nazi Germany’s most notorious figures. For Martha, however, the emphasis is on a tough but rewarding postwar life in Winnipeg, which she fondly recalls in this warm, intimate portrait of an unrelenting survivor.

  • The Elder Project
    2010|2 h 10 min

    The Elder Project follows seven diverse seniors over two years and records their experiences through a series of short and candid episodic stories. As they face the possibility of increasing frailty and transitioning into more dependent-living scenarios, the elders talk of their concerns and eloquently express their desire to grow older with dignity and some control over their future.

  • Older Stronger Wiser
    1989|28 min

    In this short documentary, five black women talk about their lives in rural and urban Canada between the 1920s and 1950s. What emerges is a unique history of Canada’s black people and the legacy of their community elders. Produced by the NFB’s iconic Studio D.

  • Round Up
    2010|18 min

    This short film traces Pete Standing Alone's personal journey from cultural alienation to pride and belonging. As a spiritual elder, teacher, and community leader of the Kainai Nation of Southern Alberta, Pete works with youth to repair the cultural and spiritual destruction wrought by residential schools. At age 81, he has come full-circle in his dedication to preserving the traditional ways of his people.

  • A Sunday at 105
    2007|13 min

    A 105-year-old Acadian agrees to be filmed one Sunday as she goes about her daily routine and ruminates on life. Filmed by her great-grandson, Aldéa Pellerin-Cormier comments wisely on politics, sex and religion. From getting ready in the morning to drinking her nightcap before bed, every moment is punctuated with a witticism or existential thought. Respectful of the old woman's privacy, Daniel Léger's first documentary looks at wisdom, serenity and enjoyment of life. In French with English subtitles.

    This documentary was made as part of the Tremplin program, with the collaboration of Radio-Canada.

  • Old Dog
    2020|3 min

    After losing his best friend, an elderly pug named Henry must depend on his owner for help and companionship. Writer/director Ann Marie Fleming (Window Horses) makes visible the tender work of caretaking in her new animated short, Old Dog. All dogs (and people) should be so lucky and so loved.

    Click here to discover more titles from Get Animated! 2020.

  • The Company of Strangers
    1990|1 h 41 min

    In this feature film, 7 elderly women find themselves stranded when their bus breaks down in the wilderness. With only their wits, memories and some roasted frogs' legs to sustain them, this remarkable group of strangers share their life stories and turn a potential crisis into a magical time of humour, spirit and camaraderie. Featuring non-professional actors and unscripted dialogue, this film dissolves the barrier between fiction and reality, weaving a heart-warming tale of friendship and courage.

  • Stories from Our Land 1.5: Inngiruti - The Thing that Sings!
    2012|5 min

    This short documentary filmed in Pangnirtung features 2 elders reminiscing about the dances held in their community 50 years ago. One of the elders is master accordion player Simeonie Keenainak, and soon he's making toe-tapping music with his instrument. In this celebration of the pleasures of music and dance, Keenainak plays for the enjoyment of friends, family, and the community at large.

    Stories from Our Land: 1.5 gave 6 Nunavut filmmakers the opportunity to each create a 5-minute short. Each film had to be made without the use of interviews or narration while telling a northern story from a northern perspective. The project was a collaboration between the NFB and the Nunavut Film Development Corporation.

  • Anatomy
    campus 2013 | 8 min

    A white room. The aging bodies of actors Gilles Pelletier and Françoise Graton testify to a love that has triumphed over time and engage in a captivating dialogue of desire, defying inertia, old age and death. This short film is a starkly pure evocation of the senses.

  • Obachan's Garden
    2001|1 h 34 min

    Peeling back the layers of her grandmother's life, filmmaker Linda Ohama discovers a painful, buried past in this feature-length documentary. Asayo Murakami, 103 years old, recalls life in Japan, her arrival in Canada as a "picture bride," her determination to marry a man of her choice, the bombing of Hiroshima and the forced relocation of her family during WWII. Beautifully rendered dramatic sequences are merged with an exquisite collection of memories, feelings, images and voices. Culminating in an emotional reunion with a long-lost daughter, this film is a personal reflection of Japanese-Canadian history and a testament to one woman's endurance and spirit.

  • House Calls
    2004|55 min

    This award-winning documentary presents Mark Nowaczynski, a physician who photographs the lives of many of his elderly patients. "Who in the world would want to see a bunch of pictures of me? Junk," says Connie, 93. Yet "Dr. Mark" has been photographing her and other patients to raise awareness about the lack of home care in this growing segment of the population. His black-and-white pictures reflect faces that convey fragility and vulnerability but also quiet strength as these seniors struggle to live with dignity.

  • When Shirley Met Florence
    1994|27 min

    This short documentary offers an intimate portrait of two women in their mid-sixties—one homosexual, the other heterosexual—whose love for one another and the music they create together transcends differences. Florence and Shirley's lifelong attachment is a heartwarming connection that defies categorization.

  • Mabel
    2016|20 min

    Feisty, fiercely independent and firmly rooted in place, 90 year-old Mabel Robinson broke barriers back in the 40s when she became the first woman in Hubbards, Nova Scotia, to launch her own business—a hairdressing salon where she still provides shampoo-n-sets over 70 years later. Weaving animation and archival imagery with intimate and laugh out loud moments in the salon, the film celebrates the power of friendship, doing what you love and staying active. With no desire to retire anytime soon, Mabel gives voice to a generation who are not front and center of cinema or the pop hairstyles of the day, and subtly shifts the lens on our perception of beauty and the elderly.

  • Second Début
    1991|8 min

    "Sophie, you can go home now and enjoy your old age," her boss announces as the confetti settles at the retirement party. "Old age? Old age? I have too many things to do to be old," Sophie retorts and sets out to investigate other possibilities. Lighthearted and colourful, Second Début offers a positive outlook on retirement. Designed for viewers who are either retired or close to retirement, this animation film will appeal to those who anticipate doing something inventive and constructive with their new leisure time.