The Silver Screen: Themes of Aging in Film

Over the past few years we have seen a significant rise in the number of films that tackle themes of aging. From the delightful, “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” to the chilling, “Amour” film makers have been asking important questions through their art. The large question is posed to us all: What will it mean to live in an aging society and what does it mean to age well?

With each generation, we are living longer and this longevity has extended the phenomena of aging. Even still, our youth-obsessed culture often chooses to not see the aging process. Providing care for an aging parent or loved one is often the hidden work of family who can feel quite alone. Like the work of all good art, these films are making visible what is hidden in plain sight and shifting the way we think about aging, celebrate its joys, and face its challenges.


Here are just a few must see films from 2013- 2014 and the questions they present:

Alive Inside  
How do we care for and communicate with those with dementia and other brain diseases? How can creativity and music be a tool for connecting individuals with who they are and their stories?

Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music's ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it.




Land Ho!
How do we help our friends live well as they age? How far would we go to make a friend come to life after a hardship?

A pair of former brothers-in-law embark on a road trip through Iceland.






Life Itself
What do we want to be known for? How do we find a way to be ourselves in the midst of and after a great challenge?

The life and career of the renowned film critic and social commentator, Roger Ebert.






Wanting to have a legacy and give something to our children. How do we accompany our aging parents in their aging journey?

An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.





What does it mean to reconcile with our past and find meaning in it? What role do our unanswered questions play in our life?

A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman's search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent.




The Hundred-Foot Journey
What legacy do you want to give to the world? What is it like to have another generation challenge your work? What do you have to teach the next generation? What do you have to learn from the next generation?

The Kadam family clashes with Madame Mallory, proprietress of a celebrated French restaurant, after they open their own nearby eatery, until undeniable chemistry causes the Madame to take gifted young chef Hassan under her wing.



Wish I Was Here
How do we sit with the inevitable loss of our parents and how can we help our children understand grief and loss?

Aidan Bloom is a 35-year-old man who finds himself at major crossroads, which forces him to examine his life, his career, and his family.





film descriptions from IMDb 

Published on August 25, 2014.