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“We don’t stop playing because we get old: we get old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw





Photo by David Andrewes, Eastleigh Southern Parishes Older People's Forum





Film Reviews:

Ageing, Older People and Family

Friendly Care in Film


By Graciela Gonzalez, 86 year old retired dental surgeon and emerging film c
ritic.

This Issue’s selection are Italy’s Mid-August Lunch (2008), winner of Best Film at the 2008 London Film Festival, and France’s My Afternoons with Marguerite (2010).  Both films are worth watching, talking about and recommending to friends. 

Mid-August Lunch (Pranzo Di Ferragosto)

Country:Italy
Cast: Alfonso Santagata, Gianni de Gregorio, Grazia Cessarini Sforza, Maria Cali, Marina Cacciotti, and Valeria de Franciscis
Director: Gianni di Gregorio
Language: Italian (with English subtitles)
Genres: Drama

Running Time: 75 minutes 
Middle-aged Gianni and his elderly mother live together in their small flat in the Trastevere district in Rome. An opportunity to ease financial burdens arrives when Gianni’s landlord negotiates a deal – in exchange for overlooking debts Gianni agrees to look after his landlord’s elderly mother and aunt over the Ferragosto holiday weekend. Soon after, Gianni’s doctor asks a favour so he can join other Romans on holiday – can Gianni look after his elderly mother over the weekend too in return for payment? Can this group of older strangers, each demanding in their own way, survive the scorching Roman weekend together?
Using humour, the complexity of human interaction, cultural tradition and older age, the director successfully manages to make the gesture of caring and bonding among older women a key feature of this film. Even when tensions between the women arise, the script returns to a gentle comedy. It is a tender and pleasantly observed film.

My Afternoons with Marguerite (La Téte en Friche)

Country: France
Cast: Gérard Depardieu, Gisèle Casadesus, François Xavier Demaiso
n
Director: Jean Becker

Language: French (with English subtitles)
Genres: Drama
Running Time: 82 minutes


Germain is a middle-aged Forest Gump. One day in the park he meets M
arguerite, 96 years old, and a friendship begins. The meetings become regular and Marguerite introduces Germain to French classics. Both Germain and Marguerite have th
eir own stories coping with family and life transitions. The strong bond created through their encounters (Marguerite reading to Germain) helps to overcome life’s struggles and introduce new perspectives on these.
Depardieu and Casadesus are easily believable and you soon forget they are actors. Their well spoken French is beautiful to listen to, especially Casadesus (Marguerite). From a simple script this film grows into an enjoyable piece of art. This intergenerational relationship is portrayed with elegance.







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