The Film
Summary Characters Creative Approach

Creative Approach

Granny Power is rollicking journey covering about 10 years in the life of different North American gaggles. The mainstay of the film are the Grannies’ entertaining and audacious actions. They take to the streets, or they take to the water, to denounce the arms race, government cutbacks, pollution. Their commitment to the issues and their sense of humour are always much in evidence.

Most of our footage is shot in classical vérité style, by one of Canada’s best documentary cinematographers, Martin Duckworth. Beyond his exceptional sense of framing, action and movement, Martin has a keen eye for character and a great sense of the psychology of a scene. People often comment on how his images convey a sense that he loves people and connects with them. A peace activist himself, in addition to being the director of some thirty films and having shot another several hundred, Martin is really in his element filming the Raging Grannies.

Granny songs are an important feature of the film. The lyrics they write – social satire set to old familiar tunes – are often priceless. Funny and sometimes self-deprecating, they are also witty and scathing expressions of a deep understanding of social and political issues. The songs are sometimes heard as part of actions, but also in settings such as the bi-annual Unconventions, where songwriting workshops are given and performances of some recent best creations are showcased.  Song lyrics are also used as graphic elements, in karaoke-style titles, allowing the viewer to better grasp and appreciate the words.

As the film progresses, some of our main characters speak candidly about what it means to find a voice for older women, about the challenges of aging and about mortality. These are not the usual platitudes we hear about older people, but the considered words of women of achievement, unwilling to go quietly into the night, fiercely fighting to their last breath for the kind of world they want to leave to their grandchildren. While admitting that she has been feeling her age lately, Ottawa’s Alma Norman says: ‘We’re back to haunt you, this is our second life’. In the same spirit, Molly Klopot of New York says that ‘activism is the recipe for eternal youth’.

Granny Power merges the political and the personal in a heart-warming portrait of a truly subversive movement. Unforgettable characters and memorable scenes linger long after the closing credits and the last strains of song have faded away.