Connections: The OLLI Documentary Film Series



Tuesdays: 2:30-4:30 p.m.
3 Sessions: March 6, March 27, April 17
Moderator: Julie Cotton


Our documentary film series titled CONNECTIONS is an opportunity for our 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.

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CONNECTIONS: OLLI Documentary Film Series Spring 2018

March 6:  Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Rather than viewing another film examining threats to our current environment, this film celebrates the contribution of one of America’s foremost landscape architects dedicated to preserving nature, Frederick Law Olmsted. His efforts created an “environmental ethic” decades before the environmental movement became a force in American politics. With gorgeous cinematography, creative animation, and compelling commentary, Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America presents the biography of a man whose parks and preservation are an essential part of American life. Writer, historian and filmmaker, Laurence Cotton, will  join me in presenting this film for which he was the originating force, principal researcher and consulting producer.

March 27: Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World

This film explores an aspect of our environment we have yet to explore in this film series: the internet. Oscar-nominated film maker Werner Herzog chronicles the growth of the internet from its origin in 1969, exploring the digital landscape with curiosity and imagination. Through a series of provocative conversations Herzog leads viewers of a playful but chilling journey that reveals how the online world has profoundly impacted virtually everything in the real world from business to education, from space travel to healthcare , to the very heart of how we conduct our personal relationships.

April 17: Tashi and the Monk and Children Full of Life

In the foothills of the Himalayas there is an extraordinary community led by a Buddhist Monk who works to create love and acceptance for children who have been abused or orphaned. Tashi and the Monk follows  one of the newest arrivals,  a reluctant five-year old girl who’s endured both neglect and tragedy during her brief life.  Both the splendid photography and this film’s  musical score are enjoyable. But the core of this film is the rare and inspiring opportunity to see a child find her hope again.

In the award-winning documentary Children Full of Life,  fourth-graders in a school  near Tokyo learn lessons about compassion from their homeroom teacher who helps his students to both learn also finds opportunities to show them how to live. He creates  opportunities to learn about  teamwork community, the importance of openness,  coping with loss, and the harm caused by bullying. Anyone who watches this film will leave feeling better about our world.


Julie Cotton, a member of the 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.


Spring series: $32 member; $36 non-member. NOTE: If seats are available, single tickets will be sold the day of screening.
Individual films: $11 member; $12 non-member. Attendance limited to 50.



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