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MSPIFF: "Young@Heart" makes you sing and think

Posted at 4:50 PM on April 19, 2008 by Euan Kerr

The documentary "Young@Heart" starts off as a novelty, but quickly delves into some uncomfortable human realities. British film maker Stephen Walker who also narrates the piece, follows a choir from Northampton Mass. who are preparing for a big concert.

The novelty is that this group of 70, 80, and 90-year olds dropped their repertoire of olde tyme music some years ago and moved on to covering much more contemporary music.

The movie opens with 92 year old Eileen belting out the classic Clash song "Should I stay or should I go?" One of the delights of this film is the way the chorus tackles song after song with incredible gusto.

To reveal which ones would be a spoiler, but it's striking how all of the songs take on a whole new meaning when sung by this group.

And that's where the human aspect kicks in. All of these singers are dealing with the realities of old age, with illness and death. yet they won't let it get them down. You'll never hear that Clash song quite the same way again.


April 2008
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