Documentary Shorts and Such

This afternoon brought unexpected enjoyment. I wasn’t planning on attending the Leisure Learning Institute (LLI) free screening of documentary films because I expected to be otherwise engaged (a History Committee meeting was scheduled). But, thanks to the meeting’s cancellation, I joined my favorite wife to watch four short documentaries. I am delighted I did. In less than an hour and a half, I felt myself relax and disengage from the Medicare search stresses that gripped me in recent days. And, as I watched the four short documentaries, I felt a kinship to humanity that has, of late, slipped away a bit. I wouldn’t call my afternoon life-changing, but it was most certainly mood-changing.

We started with what I’ve decided was my favorite. “The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere” presented the story of a race horse, Haru Urara, that never won a race but saved a Japanese racetrack from failure. Who knew such a story could be a tearjerker? Well, I should have known; I can spill tears over spilled milk. But this was far, far better than spilled milk. I highly recommend it. I offer a link to the full documentary, less than nineteen minutes long, below.

The second film, “Joe’s Violin” (also a tear-jerker), told the story of a man, a survivor of the Holocaust, who donated his violin to a girl’s school in the Bronx (the school is for girls from difficult backgrounds). The man’s (and his violin’s) story is told, along with the story of the pre-teen girl selected to play the donated instrument until her graduation. Tissues are required. Just over twenty-four minutes.

Welcome to the Last Bookstore” is another moving film. It focuses on a young man, crippled in a scooter accident, who reconstructs his life by building an independent bookstore that caters to book lovers and which attracts used books like magnets. Just eleven and a half minutes.

Finally, “Showfolk” is an intriguing look at a nursing home/assisted living facility that catera mostly (entirely?) to people in the film industry. The film shows how these people, many of whom were famous for their role in or supporting film, happily adapt to their lives as old folks whose relationships with other folks from their career days sustain them. I could only find a trailer for this one.

On an utterly unrelated note, I now have (or will have, as of October 1) Medicare supplemental insurance. I have entered Geezerhood, formally! All I have left to do is to select my Part D drug coverage, which I guess I’ll do tomorrow…after my quarterly dental appointment to have my teeth cleaned and made to sparkle (though they’ve never been sparkling white). The day after, if I can remember, I will leave the house early to go to Hot Springs to renew my driver’s license, dragging my passport, birth certificate, utility bills, etc., etc., along with me, so I can get an “enhanced” driver’s license. You know, the kind that will enable me to board planes and leave the country on short notice in the event the country falls into dictatorial hell, courtesy of the GOP and the mind-numbingly stupid and dangerous narcissist in the White House. Can you guess who I’m writing about?

I miss Lana and Mel. You may not know, but they were the ones who visited us over the weekend.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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