Friday, December 14, 2007

Number Our Days

The 1976 film by direct Lynne Littman "Number Our Days" however depressing that it may make us feel was a beautiful film about the aging process. In Venice Beach, CA we are shown the elderly center particularly for the Jewish community of that city. It is a place where one can make friends, be feed, sing, dance, and be merry. Or so this is their mission.

This film shows the never ending struggle for respect and a sense of belonging. Although the elderly in this film do not long to be alive for much longer as most of everyone has passed away, there is a trait that they have attained which is a lack of fear of death.

Although Littman's voice-over was slightly on the corny side at times, I think it proofed the point that this project was an extremely close one to her. It is a personalization effect.

The clips of the old woman in her apartment talking about her choices in life (entertainer or wife), the close up shots of the old woman crying for her lost son, of the woman who wanted to thank everyone in the center for including her into the "family" are both beautiful and heart breaking.

There is no doubt though however that one who has not thought about her before, would have a different perspective of an elderly person. That they are not just the bitter pasts of the earth walking around in the world. Yes, they are the past, but they want to impart their knowledge. They are containers of wisdom, and to take advantage of their stories and not toss them aside would be a wise thing to do itself.

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