Connections: The OLLI Documentary Film Series



Spring – 3 Sessions: March 12, April 2, April 23
Moderator: Julie Cotton

Fees per film $11 Gold Member; $12 Silver Member and General Admission.


CONNECTIONS is an opportunity for OLLI students and others to connect to many of today’s pressing global issues via the penetrating perspectives of contemporary documentary films. As the series name implies, the themes for the films will showcase the CONNECTIONS humans have with one another, with our environment, and with other species that share our planet. After viewing the film, participants can engage in thoughtful discussions and forge deeper learning and social connections with one another.

CONNECTIONS: OLLI Documentary Film Series Spring 2019

Click to download Spring 2019 flyer 

March 12: Mercury 13

“Mercury 13” is a remarkable story of the women who were tested for spaceflight in 1961 and who reached for the stars, but were ahead of their time. NASA’s “man in space” program, dubbed “Project Mercury” began in 1958. The men chosen—all military test pilots—became known as The Mercury 7. But away from the glare of the media, and behind firmly closed doors, female pilots were also screened. Thirteen of them passed and in some cases, performed better than the men. They were called the Mercury 13 and had the “right stuff” but were, unfortunately, the wrong gender. During the U.S. obsession with the space race, these women were aviation pioneers who were thirsty for a new frontier, but whose time would have to wait.
(2018) 1 hour 18 minutes

April 2: Served Like a Girl “Served Like A Girl” is an engaging and honest look at an often unseen reality for women veterans. The film follows several American women who were wounded in action and are transitioning from soldier to civilian after serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan. Struggling with post-traumatic stress syndrome, homelessness, broken families, divorce, serious illness, and military sexual abuse, these remarkable women harness humor to adapt to the emotional, social, and economic challenges they face. Through the little-known “Ms. Veteran America” competition they are able to regain their identities and a way of life that they sacrificed while fighting for their country.
(2017) 1 hour 43 minutes

April 23: Daughters of Destiny

“Daughters of Destiny” follows a unique group of Indian girls, born into so-called “untouchable” families, as they grow up at a residential school called Shanti Bhavan (Hindi for “an abode of peace”). “Daughters of Destiny” is an exploration of their lives, of global poverty, and of education as the only path to opportunity. Beautifully told and photographed, often sweet and occasionally heartbreaking, this film shows that it is possible to break down barriers for women and girls in even the least likely of circumstances.
(2017) 1 hour 30 minutes


Julie Cotton, a member of our Advisory Council’s Strategic Program Committee, is the coordinator and host of this series. Julie has a doctorate in Human Development and is a former organizational development consultant and executive coach. She is an aficionado of documentary films and a skilled facilitator of group conversations.


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