Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 1997
Country: United States
Run Time: 80 minutes

Like "Colors Straight Up," THE PERSONALS depicts the sheer power of live theater and creative performance to transform and transfigure the most marginalized segments in American society. This superb documentary is about the aged of New York City, many of whom are retired, rootless and drawing just enough Social Security dollars to stay warehoused in sterile retirement and elder residences. Keiko Ibi records the progress and personalities of a group of seniors on the Lower East Side as they rehearse (under the direction of a harried professional drama teacher) and mount an original ensemble play, despite clashing temperaments, health crises and crippling budget cuts. "The Personals," that show-within-the-show, gives voice to the passion and loneliness of these widowed, divorced or never-married individuals, who open up to the camera with frank, often poignant confessions. "What I really want is not the sex act," confides Gloria, who carried on a 20-year affair with a married man. "I just want to be held." Compassionate and often ribald, THE PERSONALS will introduce you to a different gang of boys (and ladies) in the 'hood.

Keiko Ibi

Keiko Ibi

Greg Pak

Keiko Ibi

Principal Cast
Seth Glassman, Harold Gordon, Gloria Bobrofsky, Rose Straub, Eleanor Schneider

Film Contact
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