San Luis Obispo International Film Festival

Film Festivals - West CoastI keep thinking about “I Know a Woman Like That”, an inspiring film that captivated both my mother and me when we saw it last week at the SLO (San Luis Obispo) film festival. Created by mother-daughter filmmakers, Elaine and Virginia Madsen (yup, that gorgeous star from “Sideways” is no slouch in the brains department either) the documentary is one big wonderful kumbaya to a vibrant bunch of older women.

They range in age from Lauren Hutton, the “baby” at 64 who flashes her famous gapped tooth grin and impishly announces, “The best part of growing older is that I’m better in bed”, to Lucille Borgen, who at 94 is the oldest competitor in the history of the U.S. National Water Skiing Championships.

The film interviews 14 other amazing women from all walks of life who have no intentions of going quietly into that good night”. Thought provoking questions about growing older elicit such gems as:

Barbara Hilary (who at 74 was the first African American woman to reach the North Pole and is now getting ready to conquer the South Pole) said, “When the undertaker looks at my face, I want him to say, “Wow, look at that smile.”

Rita Moreno, “Old, to me, means enriched, knowledgeable, beautiful, soulful…”

Eartha Kitt, “I LOVE being a sex symbol at the age of 80.”

I Know a Woman Like That
Filmmakers Virginia and Elaine Madsen

When one of the women was asked what advice she had for 30-something’s she succinct replied, “Hang in there. There’s good stuff coming.”

The other night I went to Book Passage at the S.F. Ferry Building to hear Diane Lebow, a superb travel writer and a passionate advocate for women’s rights, read excerpts from her award winning story, “At Home in Afghanistan”.

She opened with, “Even though I travel extensively, I was never in a war zone before. There were a few things to get used to…” and I thought to myself, “I Know a Woman Like That”.

Check out the  “I Know A Woman Like That” website to see what other women were included in the film.  Who would you have nominated?

Janice Nieder could be the love child of Indiana Jones and Julia Child. Previously a specialty food consultant in NYC, Janice is currently a San Francisco-based culinary tourism writer who has wined & dined her way through 80 countries. To keep things in balance, Janice also enjoys writing about her Girlfriend Getaways which include spa visits, soft-core adventure, cultural events, shopping, boutique hotels, and chef interviews.