Netflix series on Pope’s elder wisdom book: a photographer reflects

December 22, 2021 in Featured News, Featured Videos, News

Netflix will air a new four-part documentary series inspired by a book published by Loyola Press in Chicago » and co-published for Ireland and the United Kingdom by Messenger Publications, Ireland ». The series, Stories of a Generation, will begin on Christmas Day, 25 December 2021. Messenger Publications have reprinted the book to coincide with the launch of the Netflix series.

In this video, Pat Coyle, Director of Irish Jesuit Communications interviews Paul Audia who took many of the photographs that feature significantly in the book, the award-winning Sharing the Wisdom of Time, on which the Netflix series is based. The book was produced by Loyola Press in 2018, in response to Pope Francis’ request that the wisdom of older people be shared through their recounting of stories to younger friends and relatives.

Pat Coyle accompanied Paul around Ireland as he photographed the three Irish contributors to the book: Margaret Irwin West, artist; Des O’Grady SJ; and Derry native, Margaret O’Reilly. Paul was deeply moved by his experience of meeting people like them in Ireland and across Europe and the US.

He talks to Pat about the lasting impact the whole venture has left on him and recalls the stories and wisdom of the elders he photographed and some of the challenges he faced on his hectic schedule around the globe. He also recalls fondly his meeting with Martin Scorsese, another contributor to the book », when it was launched in Rome by the Pope.

Pope Francis has always been a champion of intergenerational dialogue. The book shares the insights of older people from around the globe with young people today, in the hope of empowering younger generations to step into the world of tomorrow with wisdom and understanding. This was the wish of  Pope Francis as he responded himself in the book to each of the stories told.

The Netflix series profiles eightee  of the elders featured in the book, across five continents. It was filmed by talented young filmmakers under the age of 30 who worked under the direction of Simona Ercolani of Stand By Me, a television production company. The series also features special commentary from Pope Francis. The production had hoped to come to Ireland to interview the Irish contributors, but the pandemic unfortunately put paid to those plans.

Watch the trailer for Stories of a Generation » here.