This film documents a day in the life of my grandfather, Anthony Lisinichia, when he was 88-years-old. First generation Sicilian-American, child of the depression, WWII veteran, widower and patriarch, “Eighty Eight” documents some very simple activities of his life: going to the YMCA, shopping for groceries and visiting the cemetery. His life may follow a routine that most people wouldn’t think is very exciting, but once I was a part of that routine I realized how fulfilling it really was. Life doesn’t have to be big to be beautiful.
I met many of my grandfather’s friends from the YMCA during the shoot, some of whom are in their nineties. Incredibly dynamic, active and as mentally sharp as any thirty-year-old, they live their lives in the background of our society while holding the wisdom of the twentieth century in their hearts and minds. Sadly our society marginalizes senior citizens to an alarming extent. If people actually took the time to talk to the elders in their families and communities, to really talk to them about their childhoods, their lives, their opinions on the world, I think society would see how important they are. How their insight and perspective can be invaluable in helping us understand our world and ourselves. I was so lucky to have been able to make this film with my grandfather and grateful for the lessons I learned from it, especially since he has now passed. We had a great time making the film and the project brought us much closer. We transcended the traditional role of grandfather and granddaughter and became friends and co-creators in film.