Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Best Movie in a Long, Long Time

It's called "Young @ Heart" and is a documentary about a real life chorus made up of senior citizens who perform the music of Jimi Hendrix, Sonic Youth, Talking Heads, James Brown and a host of others in their own inimitable way. Watched it last night during our traditional Tuesday "Movie Night at the Faris House" and I won't soon forget it. When I wasn't laughing out loud, slapping my knee (or the couch) in joyous disbelief, I was pointing my finger at the screen and shouting "amazing!!!" I confess that I also found myself repeatedly brushing back tears and shaking my head in silent wonder.

The director of the chorus, Bob Cilman, stumbled into this gig in the 1980's quite by accident while helping to serve seniors meals in Northhampton, Massachusets. Since then, "Young @ Heart" (the name of the chorus) not only performs locally, but has actually gone on tour to places as diverse as jails, various locations in Europe and even Hollywood. Since the average age of the singers is 80, the going can be tough. Imagine trying to memorize all the words to Life During Wartime or Schizophrenia as an 80-something and you can see why. But Young @ Heart can not only dazzle you with their rendition of I Feel Good, they can also move you to tears with their version of Dylan's Forever Young or Coldplay's Fix You. Stunning.

Not only is this film uplifting and powerfully heartwarming, it is, to me, a sign of The Kingdom. These are, above anything else, real (average, normal) people -- some of them more truly talented than others -- but all with something to share if we will just pay attention. Cilman's devotion to these seniors is clear, but he does not baby them. He asks alot and gets alot. And we are the benefactors of their hard work.

The glory of God in the everyday, the plain, and "the least of these" comes shining through this remarkable movie experience. Do I recommend you drop everything and watch it tonight? No kidding!

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