I'm always looking for films that focus on life stories and family histories. And I don't mean celebrity life stories and family histories—I'm talking about films that showcase the lives of unknowns and everyday people like you and me.
There aren't many comprehensive lists for this type of film—at least, I didn't come across many. To remedy the situation, I started my own Pinterest board: Films about Family History, Life Stories and Aging.
There are more than 65 films in my little database thus far. Most are biographical documentaries, but a few are "movie movies," like Trip to Bountiful, a fictional story, but on topic. You can find many of the films on Netflix or Amazon.
Now I know you've been waiting with bated breath for my personal favorites. So here are my top ten personal and family history films:
1. Holes in My Shoes
94-year-old New Yorker, Jack Beers, has broken the age barrier full force. He can do what most young men can, and his diverse lifetime achievements would take many to accomplish.
2. Strangers in Good Company
A busload of women become stranded in an isolated part of the Canadian countryside. As they await rescue, they reflect on their lives through a mostly ad-libbed script.
3. The Elders
Through the eyes of an aging generation, The Elders examines what it really means to live, by coming of age.
4. Been Rich All My Life
Five sassy, tap dancing women aged 84 - 96. Meet the "Silver Belles".
5. Nobody's Business
Irritable, hard of hearing, and cosmically indifferent to his own past, Oscar Berliner may be the least enthusiastic star in motion picture history. "You're wasting your time!" he announces when his son tells him he wants to make a film about his life.
6. I Like Killing Flies
A documentary on the oddball Greenwich Village eatery, Shopsins.
A documentary on a chorus of senior citizens from Massachusetts who cover songs by Jimi Hendrix, Coldplay, Sonic Youth, and other unexpected musicians.
8. Old People Driving
Chronicles the adventures of 96-year-old Milton and 99-year-old Herbert as they confront the end of their driving years. The film follows Herbert as he takes his last drive, hansover his keys and comes to terms with the reality of life wihtout a car.
9. The Way We Get By
On call 24/7 for the past six years, three senior citizens have made history by greeting nearly one million U.S. troops at a tiny airport in Maine.
10. The Life of Reilly
If, in 1940, you had a lobotomized aunt, an institutionalized father, a racist mother, and were the only gay kid on the block, what do you think the odds would be that you'd end up a Tony winner, a staple of television, and a generational icon?
Have a look at my Pinterest board and let me know if I've missed one of your favorites!
photo credit: Yum Studio via photopin cc