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~Friday~  This afternoon, with Bob, I watched The Company of Strangers (1990), a Canadian docufiction released in the U.S. with the title Strangers in Good Company.

The synopsis

"In this feature film, 8 elderly women find themselves stranded when their bus breaks down in the wilderness. With only their wits, memories and some roasted frogs' legs to sustain them, this remarkable group of strangers share their life stories and turn a potential crisis into a magical time of humour, spirit and camaraderie.

Featuring non-professional actors and unscripted dialogue, this film dissolves the barrier between fiction and reality, weaving a heart-warming tale of friendship and courage."

The movie

You can actually watch the entire movie at no charge here.

The stranded women walking in a field.


My thoughts and observations

  • Themes touched on in this movie included:

    • Strong, real women

    • Aging—gracefully, wistfully, and otherwise

    • Our life stories—how we frame them, and how we tell them

    • Surviving and living, and the difference between them

    • Being yourself (Including in one case, letting your hair down—literally.)

    • Homosexuality (Mary: "You know, Cissy, I'm a Lesbian..." Cissy: "Oh, good. Oh, look! [L]ook at that big bird, there.")

    • Religion ("Get thee to a nunnery...")

  • What a treat this movie was! And one I would have never heard of if it weren't for Bob. Thank you, dear!

  • I'd also never heard of the term docufiction before, and learning a new vocabulary word is always a thrill.

  • I love that the writers wrote a basic story outline and let the women improvise their dialog. That really says a lot about these women.

  • I loved that there was no "flash" in this movie—no car chases, no exploding buildings, no fight scenes. The film stands alone on its characters and their interactions.

  • I liked how this film featured several permutations of the characters talking to each other, and learning the interesting and different aspects of their backgrounds depending on who they were sharing their stories with.

  • I like—and agree with—the ending comment about the movie from its IMDB entry:

    This is not the geriatric version of The Big Chill; questions are left unanswered and issues remain unresolved. Without standard contrived crises and manufactured conflict, what this film delivers is so fascinating simply because it's so real. If you possess even half a brain and an ounce of sensitivity, I can't imagine your finding this group of women anything but the very best of good company."

  • I gave this movie two thumbs up.

Have you seen this movie? If so, what did you think of it?
 

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