The Grand Generation (1993)

About the Film

From Academy Award winners Paul Wagner and Marjorie Hunt and folklorist Steve Zeitlin comes this warm portrait of six elderly Americans whose vigor belies their age. Three are folk artists, one a baker, one a political activist, and one a bayman on the Chesapeake. Though they remember the past, they still relish the present and live it fully.

Rosina Tucker, a 102-year-old African American, was a union organizer and civil rights activist. Rosina is still engaged in these causes and her face lights up as she recites the poetry that inspired her. Alex Kellam knows how to navigate in fifty-mile gales and knows where to find the best crabs. He considers himself as professional as any doctor or lawyer, only his education came from the sea. Moishe Sacks recalls his pleasure as a baker with his hands an extension of the dough he kneaded.

Ballad singer Nimrod Workman, albedos singer Cleofes Vigil and embroiderer Ethel Mohamed demonstrate their artistry and trace its role in their lives. Throughout the film old photographs and folk music round out the portraits. Their lives of struggle, accomplishment and earned wisdom can teach and inspire all Americans.


For licensing, film rights and permissions, contact Paul Wagner, Steven Zeitlin, Marjorie Hunt, the distributor Filmmakers Library, or Folkstreams.