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Family, Identity & Aging with Chutzpah

"Make a stand, put your best foot forward...and don't take any crap!"  – Bubbeh Lee, from film

This Emmy-nominated documentary is a hilarious portrait of an extraordinary, ordinary grandmother and a touching account of her grandson's search for his place in the world. Whether taking daily excursions to the grocery store to return under-ripe produce or sharing hard-won wisdom over blintzes on Rosh Hashanah, Lee Abrahams is a woman who lives life on her own terms. For her grandson, a young gay man born to a Jewish mother and Protestant father, 87-year old bubbeh Lee is a vital link to self and cultural identity, and to unconditional love and acceptance. As the two of them relate feelings of love lost or hidden, kibbitz about strategies for shopping, and avoid meddling matchmakers, the strength of their bond emerges.

A spirited reflection aging, identity, alienation and acceptance, this already classic film examines the legacies passed through generations and shows that the journey of self-discovery can begin at any age.  (1996, 35 min.)

Funny and poignant... a portrait of a complex and rich relationship.”
— Video Librarian

Andy Abrahams Wilson

Andy Abrahams Wilson
Ron Ward

Emmy Award Nomination
National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

Outstanding Documentary
Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

Best Documentary
CINE/Colorlab Awards

Certificate of Distinguished Achievement
International Documentary Association

Best Documentary Short
Silver Images Film Festival

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"Much more meaningful and lesson-filled than the 'multicultural education' texts being used in most classrooms... a wonderful, touching film that will inspire and encourage viewers to think more deeply about their own roots and how these inform the way they experience the world."
– Paul Gorski, School of Education, University of Virginia

"A wonderful film... exemplifies that one is never too young or old to learn or adapt. A great film for programming with diverse communities and for intergenerational studies. An important addition in both public and academic libraries."
– Vincent P. Andrzejewski, Audiovisual Manager, St. Louis County Library

"Very warm and touching... a simple treasure."
– The Hollywood Reporter

"Warm, intimate and funny!"
– TV Guide

"Funny and poignant... a portrait of a complex and rich relationship."
– Video Librarian

"You'll be laughing with disbelief at her chutzpah... Bubbeh Lee not only shows a grandmother giving it straight to her sweet and patient gay grandson, but speaks volumes on identity, generational issues, culture and family."
– Kimberly Yutani, Southern Voice

"Beautifully made... should be required for every parent and grandparent who has just discovered their gay [grand]son's or daughter's sexual orientation."
– John Mandes, Out Front Colorado

"Sensitive and lighthearted... an excellent example of how the closeness of family can break through intolerance and misunderstandings about lesbians and gay men."
– Don Romesberg, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

"Enormously funny and poignant... the finely-honed rituals of Jewish eating, matchmaking, and the high art of fruit picking (and return of unwanted produce) are masterfully documented."
– Marlene Roberts, The Jewish Journal

"A loving and powerfully moving film." (Four Stars)
– Dan Avery, Washington, DC Metro Weekly

"Delightful and enlightening... a moving look at the importance of knowing our family history."
– Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

"Plenty of sweetness and humor... if you have a Jewish grandmother--or just know one--it's required viewing."
– John Blanco, Bay Area Reporter

"Priceless!... the affection leaps off the screen... a star will be born tonight at age 89!"
– Tom Jicha, Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

"The joy it brings and the undeniable love it exudes is contagious... Bubbeh touches a chord because she is celebration and remorse, fragility and strength, tenderness and toughness and, mostly, honesty."
– Sheila Nevins, Senior Vice-President, HBO

"Skillfully provides a portraiture of a family dynamic... this one is a winner."
– Jack Fertig, San Francisco Bay Times

"A fascinating look at a spunky old lady... Bubbeh Lee will leave a lasting impression."
– Myrna Rubinstein, TV Host Magazine

"A moving statement... a guaranteed crowd pleaser."
– Andrew Alexander, ETC

"A loving portrait."
– Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle




Andy Abrahams Wilson

Andy Abrahams Wilson
Ron Ward

Editorial Consultants
Nila Bogue
Jeffrey Friedman

Andy Abrahams Wilson

Original Music
James David Jacobs

Online Editor
Bob Johns
Video Arts

Sound Mix
Mark Escott
Robert Berke Sound

Fiscal Sponsor
The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

Major Funding
HBO Documentary Programming





Emmy Award Nomination, National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

Winner, Outstanding Documentary, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

Winner, Best Documentary, CINE/Colorlab Awards

Winner, Certificate of Distinguished Achievement, Int'l Documentary Association

Winner, Best Documentary Short, Silver Images Film Festival

Winner, Silver Plaque, Chicago International Film Festival

Winner, CINE Golden Eagle Award

Winner, Certificate for Creative Excellence, U.S. Int'l Film & Video Festival

Winner, Audience Choice Award, One Reel Film Festival

Winner, Second Place Documentary, Central Florida Film Festival

Winner, Silver Angel Award, Excellence in Media

Winner, First Place, Magnes Museum Jewish Video Competition


HBO Television

LOGO Television


Contemporary Documentaries Series, AMPAS/UCLA

Brisbane International Film Festival (Australia)

Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (Greece)

Parnu International Documentary Film Festival (Estonia)

Budapest International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Inside-Out Film Festival (Toronto)

Montreal Jewish Film Festival

Out On Screen Film Festival (Vancouver)

Atlanta Film and Video Festival

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

Chicago International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley Art Museum

Sonoma Film Institute

Boston Jewish Film Festival

Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival

Budapest International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Vancouver Jewish Film Festival

Washington, DC International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival

Seattle Jewish Film Festival

San Diego Jewish Film Festival

Miami Jewish Film Festival

Honolulu Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (Opening Night)

Tampa Pride Film Festival

Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Milwaukee Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival

Denver Jewish Film Festival

Kansas City Jewish Film Festival

North Carolina Jewish Film Festival

Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival

Knoxville Jewish Film Festival

Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting

Western Psychological Association Annual Meeting

Conference on Alternatives in Jewish Education, Stanford University

Miami Area Geriatric Education Center