Past Event

Central Station: Session 5

Join us for this course of elder heroes as they—men and women, American and international —show us what the new old age is really about.

Older heroes behave very differently than younger ones: their journeys are often inward rather than outward, backward rather than forward, slow and intentional rather than fast and impetuous. But their actions are just as heroic if not more so, for the stakes are higher, time is shorter, and invincibility a thing of the past.

Fernanda Montenegro and Vinicius de Oliveira, 1998. (Portuguese with excellent subtitles). This Brazilian masterpiece may be the best intergenerational film ever made. It is also an excellent example of an Elderquest , a middle passage, desperately needed and successfully completed. Donã Dora, old, angry, and totally hopeless, writes letters for the young and still hopeful in Rio’s Central Station, then throws them away. But she is gradually and against her will drawn into the life of nine year old Josue whose mother writes a letter trying to reunite him with his father and is then run over by a bus. Dora is slow to rehumanize and Josue is equally slow to let down his barriers and begin once again to hope, but they embark on an endless odyssey in search of both of their lost fathers and eventually the letter writer rewrites her own script as well as the boy’s. Heartbreaking; realistic and finally revelatory story of how the Elderquest can give us the power to redefine not only our own lives, but those of our descendants as well, 106 mins.

Judy Everson, retired Professor of English from the University of Illinois at Springfield and IHC Board Alum, will lead each session using this format: introduction of the film or novel, screening the film, refreshment break, guided discussion of our experience of the themes in the film or novel.

This new course is made possible by the participation of the Academy of Lifelong Learning in a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) entitled Examining a New Model for Old Age in Literature and Film. Lincoln Land Community College’s Academy of Lifelong Learning is one of nineteen sites across the country (and the only one in Illinois) participating in this program initiated by the University of Massachusetts – Boston Learning in Retirement group.

Free Course. Registration Required.

Register for course LLL 102-01 through Lincoln Land Community College registration services at (217) 786-2292. Visit for a listing of each session for this course.