Seven Songs for a Long Life
Directed by Amy Hardie
UK, 2015, 82 min, in English

How did it happen? A movie about six hospice patients which you just want to keep watching! Funny, touching and passionate in their enjoyment of life, this film surprises with its use of song. A great score by Mark Orton leads us through one of the key issues of our age: medicine has recently changed our relationship with fatal disease: we can now live for years, rather than months, after a terminal diagnosis. Sometimes. How do we cope with this uncertainty? The documentary cast are quirky, wry front-runners in a journey that we will all face.

"Incredibly moving."
The Guardian


Portland, OR
July 25, 2017
The Clinton Street Theater



New York, NY
October 16, 2016
Margaret Mead Film Festival

Nashville, TN
October 16-17, 2016
The Belcourt Theatre

Aspen, CO
September 21-25, 2016
Aspen Filmfest

St. Louis, MO
January 6-8, 2017
Webster University Film Series

Tallahassee, FL
January 6-8, 2017
Tallahassee Film Society

Pleasantville, NY
May 21, 2017
Jacob Burns Film Center



The intimate story behind our changing relationship with death. A terminal diagnosis used to mean death within months. Modern medicine allows patients to live on for years. A passionate and touching film about uncertainty, about the future that faces all of us, following five patients who choose to sing their way through life. With a score by Mark Orton.


From the moment Tosh refuses to fill in his assessment form and serenades us with a remarkably good Sinatra song, this documentary grabs life through song. Six hospice patients allow us into tender, vulnerable and funny moments of their lives. Singing unlocks the patients' pasts, guides their dreams and their futures. Encouraged by one nurse who loves to sing, and a collaborative filming process, they wrestle with the new insecurity facing us all: recent advances in biomedicine mean we can now live for years rather than months after a terminal diagnosis. Sometimes. But not every time. How do we cope with this uncertainty?

Strathcarron’s patients are quirky, wry front-runners in a journey that we will all face. Each patient deals with enormous change during the three years of filming. As they go through the little and big dramas of trying to make a will, medicating pain, finding a guardian for a child and moving house, we see the growing relationship between staff and patient, patient and patient. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to help face your own mortality, making the process of dying itself safe, individual, and as gentle as possible.



"Highly recommended. It's hard to imagine a less depressing hospice documentary."
Video Librarian

"This incredibly moving documentary is all the more affecting because of the unsentimental way it’s told."
The Guardian

"Lyrical. Poignant."
The Scotsman

"A film which makes you laugh and cry in equal measures."
Falkirk Herald

"Remarkable and hugely dignified. There is a lot that is heartbreaking here, but there is much love and more than a few laughs."
The Herald

"The sense of community is felt in every shot. First and foremost, a documentary about humanity."
Film News

"Everyday people made larger-than life through quirky wit and sheer strength of character."
Total Film

"Entirely authentic."
VultureHound Magazine



North Devon Journal


Seven Songs Poster

A nurse at Strathcarron

Iain Milne, a patient at Strathcarron

Jim Brown, a staff member at Strathcarron

Julie Reid, a patient at Strathcarron, and Mandy Malcomson, a nurse

A nurse at Strathcarron and Julie Reid, a patient

Mandy Malcomson , a nurse at Strathcarron

Amy Hardie, director of Seven Songs for a Long Life