Young @ Heart
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a documentary about senior citizens, which might, to teens, sound like a snore. It isn't. The film is alive with music and resilience. But over the course of the movie, two chronically ill members of the chorus die and concerns of geriatric health and impending death are addressed.
What's the story?
This documentary follows a number of Massachusetts senior citizens (average age 81) who are part of the Young@Heart chorus, a somewhat unorthodox group of vocalists who perform rock, funk, and punk covers worldwide. Chorus director Bob Cilman, a kind but stern taskmaster, tries to teach the group some new songs as they rehearse for a sold-out concert, but some just can't get the hang of the new numbers. "Yes We Can Can" proves to be confusing, with its tongue-twisting multiple "cans." And the duet of Coldplay's poignant "Fix You" is interrupted with the death of one of the singers. His death and the death of another member of the chorus that same week are hard on the members of the group. But they don't quit, knowing the show must go on.
Is it any good?
YOUNG @ HEART is an inspiring testament to the human spirit and perseverance in the face of death, illness, and difficult-to-comprehend punk lyrics. Plus this documentary may shed a new positive light on a life stage that younger people may fear.
Certainly some of the humor of the movie comes from the incongruity of "granny" types -- little old ladies and grumpy old men -- singing hard rock, and the assumption that this type of music would be merely "noise" to the elderly. It's really intriguing to hear these songs (which will be familiar to some) in a new context. Talking Head's "Road to Nowhere" takes on a new meaning about aging. As does the Ramones' "I Want to be Sedated."
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about aging. How do you stay young at heart? To what extent do mental rigor and physical activity play a role? What about community and friendship? Why do you think this group of seniors wanted to be a part of a band like this one?