Calling in the Ancestral Village

Growing old can usher in the 'wisdom years'

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Director of 'Lives Well Lived,' Sky Bergman on the red carpet at the 2017 Santa Barbara Film Festival.  

Hopefully we all know at least one cool senior and get to be one some day.  I’m talking about those consciously aging elders whom you seek out for comfort, discernment and perspective. Senescence, to arrive from full maturity to death in ‘fine fettle,’ like anything that looks easy takes much effort. Growing old can be likened to walking in a gentle mist rather than a downpour. After two hours one is soggy rather than drenched.

A “lovely film,” according to NPR Film Critic Peter Rainer, Los Angeles is the city chosen for the theatrical premiere of ‘Lives Well Lived.’   It celebrates the incredible wit, wisdom and experiences of 40 people aged 75 to 100 years old. That’s 3000 years of collective experience. ‘Lives Well Lived’ opened at the Laemmle Theater chain on April 20th. Many other cities will follow.

Through their intimate memories and inspiring personal histories, listen in on secrets and insights to living a meaningful life. These men and women open the vault through family histories, personal triumph and tragedies, loves and losses. Their thoughtful perspectives reveal a treasure of lessons and a reminder of the greatest role models in our own families.

“My inspiration for the LIVES WELL LIVED project was my 103 year old grandmother who enjoyed exercise, making the best lasagna you’ve ever tasted and being with family. She showed me by example, that age is truly just a number. In our society, the elderly are often overlooked and I wanted to bring that generation to the forefront. Our greatest role models are those living full and meaningful lives in their later years. It has been a six-year long labor of love to see this film to fruition: from the first days filming in my grandmother’s kitchen, to the moment of the final edits, it is a great honor to share the stories of the amazing people featured in the film.” – filmmaker and professor Sky Bergman.

‘Lives Well Lived’ is an ongoing interactive project. They are collecting inspiring stories about Lives Well Lived to share on the website. If you, or someone you know, would like to be considered for inclusion in their online gallery, click here to participate.  

Originally published at

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