YONKERS, N.Y.-- Michael Villucci, who is enrolled in the Cinema Studies program at New York University and pursuing a minor in Business Entertainment there, spent summer 2015 at the Morningside Rehabilitation Center in the Bronx, interviewing several senior residents about their lives.
What Villucci ultimately created was a set of highly personal video biographies of two of the center’s residents.
“I found great pleasure in bonding with the patients; they were very grateful that they were able to tell me their stories, and I loved to hear them,” Villucci says. “I made the videos for them and for their families.”
As a result of his work, families will be able to access these personal biographical videos as living testaments to the lives of their elders. Villucci said, “I was given a ton of materials to read. I quickly learned that everyone has a different type of story to tell. You have to take into account how important some things are to some people and how it should be represented” in documenting their stories.
Documenting the lives of seniors has a personal connection for Villucci.
“When I was 11 years old my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Though her memory slowly decayed over the next eight years, I still loved her and began to grow closer to her. As time went by, I started to develop an interest in film and decided to go to New York University to study it. After my freshman year,” he continues, “my grandmother started to get sicker this coincided with the opportunity from Morningside Rehabilitation Center to produce video biographies for patients with memory problems.”
“I found great pleasure in bonding with the patients; they were very thankful that they were able to tell me their stories, and I loved to hear them,” he says. “I believe my time working with them at Morningside has been extremely informative for me, not only as a filmmaker, but also as a person."