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Very Personal Death of Elizbeth Schell Holt Hartford

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Published on Jul 14, 2015

Both as a personal portrait and as a window on the problems of aging recipients of public welfare, The Very Personal Death of Elizabeth Schell Holt-Hartford is a superb specimen of documentary art. It is triply illuminated – by the glow of the subject’s personality, and the sympathetic stance and high craftsmanship of the production. The adjectives of the title – “very personal death” – are justified by the dignity and compassion of the life-and-death account.


The Very Personal Death of Elizabeth Schell Holt Hartford, a 30 minute documentary on an 82 year old woman trying to live out her life in dignity. First broadcast on February, 1972, on CBS in Los Angeles.

Awards: Associated Press Certificate of Merit; National Television Broadcast Executives Documentary of the Year.

Los Angeles Times: “A moving, poignant film essay.”

The citation from the National Television Broadcast Executive Award for “Documentary of the Year” reads: “In this intimate, reflective study of the decline and approaching death of a single defiant old woman, this public affairs program sharply defined with beauty, dignity and compassion, the inevitable human confrontation with loneliness and death.”

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