This fall, the Alliance for Living and Dying Well will show three films that explore how aging, loss and recognition of mortality can deepen one’s appreciation of life.
The facilitated discussions that follow each showing encourage participants to share their thoughts and feelings.
All screenings are free and no reservation is necessary. Films will be screened in the Parish Hall of the Unitarian Society, 1535 Santa Barbara St., at 7 p.m. on Fridays — Sept. 20, Sept. 27 and Oct. 4.
The featured films are:
» Sept. 20: Quartet (2012). At a home for retired musicians, preparations for the annual Verdi concert are disrupted by the arrival of Jean, an aging opera star. As she interacts with the other residents, including her former husband, Jean finally finds the self-awareness and empathy that have eluded her all her life. Dustin Hoffman directs; Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay and Michael Gambon star.
» Sept. 27: The Hedgehog (2011, French with subtitles). Second chances for life, love, and friendship abound in a fancy apartment house.
» Oct. 4: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011). Enticed by advertisements for the lavishly restored Marigold Hotel in India, British retirees are disappointed to find that their new home is really just a rundown shell. In time, though, they adjust and grow, experiencing life and love when they let go of the past. Starring Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith.
“At the Alliance we try to reach people in many ways: live theater, large and small presentations, written materials, group discussions, and films,” ALDW Executive Director Susan Plummer said. “The last-mentioned is particularly effective, because films tell stories and stories get through to people on an emotional level, making their point without lecturing. The films we feature all celebrate living life to its fullest — at any age.”
The Alliance for Living and Dying Well, a collaboration of Santa Barbara area agencies, seeks a seamless, compassionate continuum of end-of-life care. It fosters learning and healing through discussions of our mortality, and it promotes practical planning, such as advance health care directives.
For information, call 805.845.5314 or click here.
— Ann Pieramici represents the Alliance for Living and Dying Well.