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photo Famous 4A
By Mike Attie

Meet veterans Edward, John, Henry, Angel and George, residents of “Famous 4A,” the hospice unit at Palo Alto Hospice Care Center in California. With an astute sensitivity for his surroundings, director Mike Attie captures the rhythms of hospice life where caring and patient hospital staff attend to one goal, “keyword is comfortable” is the mantra. The patients reflect on finding God before death, reminisce about fishing with the president during World War II, pose for pictures with Miss California and claim minor medical victories.

Famous 4A captures the bond shared between patients and caregivers, grown children and their ailing parents, and challenges stereotypes of aging and dying. The film is a universal look at seeking out humor, truth, purpose, uplift and grace in the final moments of life.

19 minutes
© 2009
Purchase $195 DVD
Order No. QA-538

Reviews
"In a mere 20 minutes, director and producer Mike Attie has succeeded at invoking the realities of life inside a hospice institution. The brilliance of the film is allowing the five profiled patients to tell the story. ...a thoughtful, moving, and educational documentary. Famous 4A will be welcomed in academic libraries supporting health sciences and social work curricula." Educational Media Reviews Online

Awards & Conference Screenings
International Documentary Association/David Wolper Award, Nominee, 2009
Angelus Film Festival, Semi Finalist
Kos International Health Film Festival,
First Prize, Audience Award, September 2010
Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, March 2010
Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival,
August 2010
Red Hook Film Festival, Audience Award, 2010
Northwest Film Forum, Honorable Mention, Local Sightings, 2010
CILECT International Congress, Best Documentary, Barcelona, 2010

Related Films
Mortal Lessons: Follows the stories of two extraordinary women, diagnosed with end stage cancer, who are facing death head on, determined to lead richer, more rewarding lives in the time that they have. Threaded through their narratives are the perspectives of hospice workers, funeral directors, bereavement counselors and others who deal with death on a daily basis.

Grief in America: A comprehensive, multi-ethnic perspective on the ways Americans deal with grief and loss in all their forms.

A Family Undertaking: Profiles the home funeral movement, and the complex psychological, cultural, legal and financial issues surrounding the growing trend of families choosing to prepare loved ones at home for burial or cremation.

Pioneers of Hospice: Explores the development of hospice and palliative care, focusing on the legacy of the founders of the modern hospice movement: Dame Cicely Saunders, Florence Wald, the late Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, and Balfour Mount.

A Video Essay on Teenage Grief: Ninety percent of children in the United States may experience the loss of a loved one by the time they are eighteen. In this two-part DVD, five young women meet to share their experiences of grief over the loss of their fathers from suicide, accident, a drug overdose, and cancer.


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