Films featured in Class 2
The Experience of Aging in Feature-length Films 2007:
- Since Otar Left, Julie Bertolucci (France, 2004).
Three generations of a family live a bleak existence in the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia ten years after the break-up of the Soviet Union. Their hopes are pinned on the fortunes of Otar, a son, who is studying medicine in Paris. But his death, and a deception practiced on the grandmother, leads to an unexpected resolution of this family’s crisis.
- Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Werner Herzog (Germany, 1997).
In this Werner Herzog documentary, Dieter Dengler, a German-American shot down over Laos in 1965, tells the story of his capture and eventual escape from a Viet Cong prison camp. Herzog, who also narrates part of the story, brings Dengler back to the jungle to re-tell the story of his captivity and eventual escape.
- The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Tommy Lee Jones (2002). Tommy Lee Jones is an old Texas cowboy who befriends an illegal Mexican (the title character). In order to fulfill a promise made to the young man to bury his body in his hometown in Mexico, the old cowboy kidnaps the U.S. Border Agent who shot Estrada, compels the young man to dig up the dead man’s body, and then heads across the border. At the end of his journey he finds a strange and unexpected resolution.
- After Life, director (Japan, 1999). A team of men and women are charged with helping the newly dead resolve an important task in their journey through after life. The film proposes that there are four stages in life’s journey. The first is life, the second is death, the third is after life, and the fourth is eternity. In after life the newly dead still retain all of the memories and senses they had in life. Each person in after life is charged with selecting a significant memory from his or her life that represented a time when he or she felt happy or fulfilled. As it turns out, the human problems in after life are reminiscent of the dilemmas human beings face in life.
Film resource written by Robert Yahnke
Copyright, Robert E. Yahnke, © 2009
Professor, Univ. of Minnesota
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