Recent Empowerment series session featured the screening of the film A Song for Marion (Unfinished Song). (photo from JSA)
On Jan. 16, more than 60 older adults gathered in the auditorium of the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver to watch the heart-tugging film A Song for Marion (Unfinished Song), starring Vanessa Redgrave and Terrance Stamp. This was the second session of the 2018-19 Empowerment series, and it was co-sponsored with JCC Seniors.
Before the film, attendees were welcomed by the smell of fresh popcorn, provided by Lisa Cohen Quay, coordinator of JCC Seniors program. She introduced the film and welcomed the audience. The JSA’s Gyda Chud gave an introduction describing the alliance and the Empowerment series.
The film portrayed the relationship between an elderly couple, husband and wife, with very different personalities. Marion, who is suffering from terminal cancer, is an outgoing and friendly person who is very involved in a community seniors choir. Arthur, on the other hand, is a grouchy character, who is over-protective of his wife and disdainful of the choir. After Marion’s death, Arthur is lost, but he honours her memory by joining the choir that brought her so much joy. His journey of self-discovery helps him build bridges with his estranged son.
This thought-provoking, beautifully acted movie delivered several messages, one of which is to open yourself up to new experiences and not be afraid to be you; to allow yourself to think beyond the scope of what is, and reach for what could be. It was an empowering experience.
After the movie, there was coffee, pastry and shmoozing. The work of Cohen Quay, Liz Azeroual and Raylene Burke made this event successful.
This year’s Empowerment series is on the theme of renewing and reinventing ourselves as older adults. The first session, The Role of Stories, was held Nov. 30, with the Sholem Aleichem Seniors of the Peretz Centre for Secular Jewish Culture. The next event will take place on March 5, 2:30 p.m., at the Weinberg Centre.
Shanie Levin is an executive board member of Jewish Seniors Alliance and on the editorial board of Senior Line magazine.