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photo The Personals
Improvisations on Romance in the Golden Years
By Keiko Ibi

ACADEMY AWARD WINNER! The longings for love and intimacy are never-ending. This Academy-Award winning documentary offers an extraordinary look at the emotional lives of elderly Americans. On stage, a drama group of seniors perform their roles with energy and laughter. Off stage, their lives are often lived alone, and in silence.

The Personals follows a group of senior citizens as they rehearse and present an original play at a community theater on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Drawn from the comedy and drama of their own lives, the play is structured around their quest for dates through the personal ads. As the rehearsals progress, the filmmaker's camera follows the individual members of the group into their homes, as it explores both the joys and the sorrows of growing old in America. The video paints a surprisingly humorous and in-depth portrait of a segment of our society whose inner lives are not often explored.

37 minutes
© 1998
Purchase $229 DVD
Order No. QA-272
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-842-1

"Strongly Recommended. A solid choice for aging collections." Video Librarian

"Draws a humorous and in-depth portrait of seniors." Library Journal

"A group of now single senior citizens living on Manhattan's Lower East Side speak with touching candor about love and loss in the years when middle age is a fond memory." Ginia Bellafante, Time Magazine

"A sweet snapshot of America's elderly, The Personals is a delicate look at loneliness and the life lessons collected by a group of energetic senior citizens." Michael Speier, Variety

Awards & Conference Screenings
Academy Award, Best Short Documentary
The International Documentary Film Festival
St. Louis International Film Festival
Frame by Frame Film Festival
American Society on Aging
American Psychiatric Association
Boston Jewish Film Festival

Related Films
Sage: Celebrates the wisdom, experience, and creativity of our society's elders through portraits of a diverse group of active, engaged seniors pursuing their lifetime interests, and some new ones as well. Among those profiled is TV chef Julia Child.

Tonight's the Night: Three senior couples describe the evolution of their sexual relationships, while experts stress the importance of more accepting social attitudes about sexuality and aging.

Gay and Gray in New York City: This engaging video features interviews with several "gay and gray" men and women, as well as profiling two organizations which work to provide services and support to elders in the gay community.

A Thousand Tomorrows: The spouses of people with Alzheimer's disease talk candidly about the impact of the illness on intimacy and sexuality.

As Time Goes By: It is a misconception that our needs for intimacy fade as we age. The seniors profiled in this documentary openly share their experiences with love, romance and growing older.

More Than Skin Deep: A film about aging, self-esteem, and hairdressing. Through the insights of six nursing home residents, it takes an evocative look at the connections between aging with dignity and looking good

The Way Home: This moving documentary introduces a variety of elders who are trying to find the best possible living situation for themselves or for their loved ones during their "golden years."


Awards & Screenings

Related Films

Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website