Each month, AETN and Hendrix College in Conway partner for a night of great film and great discussion in an event called Community Cinema, which is made possible by the PBS series "Independent Lens." And after each screening, we have a community discussion between the audience and experts in whatever issues were addressed in the film.
In January we had the privilege of screening "Young@Heart," a fantastic and touching film about an internationally-acclaimed chorus of spunky senior citizens who take on songs by artists from James Brown to Coldplay. We filled our venue at the Murphy Building at Hendrix and had to go in search of more chairs!
Here are some comments from the screening:
"I think the film worked because as I get older I think about doing less, and that brings fear. And these people are doing more! It doesn't mean they're pain free, but they're doing more, and they're going to London. There are possibilities."
"I can feel 20 if I don't look in the mirror. However frail you can be physically, you can still be spry mentally and spiritually. People are people, and they are who they are from the day that they're born to the day they're dead."
"It's important that it was shown here at Hendrix. I'm 21 -- this seems like a lifetime away for me, but when I reach that age, I can still sing. It's not that they used to be really good singers -- they still are good singers."
"[The film] worked because they were shown as people first and old second. Young people forget that."
"It doesn't matter what your age is, until your mind is ready to go, it's not time yet. You still hope for a future even if your body has betrayed you."
" This [film] really emphasizes how music bridges generations. At the beginning I thought, 'getting old sucks, that looks terrible.' Then I realized, 'This could be fun!'"
"I really like the thought that regardless of what happens to your body, you're still yourself."
"As you get older you get more confident in your skin. Pretenses are gone. [The chorus] probably wouldn't have done this when they were 40, but they're confident now."
The next Community Cinema screening will be of "Garbage Dreams" Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. in the Murphy Building at Hendrix. For more information and a preview of the film, visit www.aetn.org/engage/communitycinema. We hope to see you there!