First, you grew up during the Depression when you and your eight siblings shared the meager scraps that your unemployed father could scrounge up. Then you were shipped off to war where you watched friends get gunned down in droves on some godforsaken beach. Finally, just as you might have had some respite, Tom Brokaw dubs you part of "the greatest generation" and there is a sudden mad rush to document your life and stories. On behalf of a younger generation of artists, historians, and curious observers, I apologize for continuing to bother you. There's just something inexplicably fascinating about you to those of us from the post-Nintendo era, and it's not just because the men look dapper and the women glamorous in old black-and-white photos. We love your stories because even though you've probably never grappled with whether or not to download music, you lived through a time when, at least through the lens of nostalgia, people did what was right because it was right. In your honor, the Minnesota History Center is hosting a festival of 10-minute films about Minnesota's greatest generation. Among the highlights are Resonance by Paul Creager, a story of a temple bell brought from Japan to Duluth as a "war trophy"; "Marianne Hamilton: Voice of Peace," by Kevin KcKeever, which tells of the making of a peace activist; and "Skating the Pacific to Europe" by Rita Nagan and Jeremy Wilker, which makes beautiful use of still shots in giving the oral history of Art Seaman, Olympic speed skater. For a complete schedule visit www.mnhs.org/mggfilm.
Sun., Oct. 21, 12-5 p.m., 2007