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This article looks at the relationship between the esthetic and documentary commentaries offered by two National Film Board of Canada (NFB) productions, chosen because they use the documentary form to interpret aging and care in Canada for Canadians, offering a Canadian example of an issue that is of international importance. The first film, House Calls (Ian McLeod 2004), follows the work of Mark Nowaczynski, a physician who photographs his elderly patients to illustrate their dignity amidst what he perceives to be their fragility and vulnerability. The second, A Year at Sherbrooke (Thomas Hale 2009), follows artists Thelma Pepper and Jeff Nachtigall who work with residents of a Saskatoon long-term care facility - Pepper continues her longer term practice of photographing the residents and Nachtigall takes on a new role of artist-in-residence in which he mentors them in their own creative development. Analyzing the role of photography in each film, the article shows that, together, the films demonstrate that images of aging beyond mere decline may play a role in reimagining how care for older adults takes place.
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