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Illustration by Yolandi Stanek/First Run Features

AARP members can watch “The Book Keepers” through June 22, 2023. Video run time is 1 hour, 29 minutes.


‘The Book Keepers’ Gives Spiritual Insights Into Grief and Resilience

Documentary showcases husband who becomes unexpected spokesperson for late wife’s memoir

The Book Keepers is the uplifting documentary of a husband who keeps his wife’s dream alive and their filmmaker son, who chronicles the journey as they crisscross the country to fulfill a dying wish, ensure a legacy and find solace after tragic personal loss.

Carol Wall's memoir, Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening, is about cancer, friendship and cultivating an open heart — and it was a breakout success. But joy turned to tragedy when the breast cancer she wrote about returned, and she died months after its publication. Carol's husband, Dick, determined to help her life-affirming message find its audience, became the book's unlikely spokesperson, embarking on a nationwide book tour. He was joined by the couple's filmmaker son, Phil, who captured his dad's efforts to ensure her dream lives on. The result is an intimate portrait of love and loss — an ode to the healing power of storytelling.

Director: Phil Wall

Writer: Phil Wall

Featuring: Phil Wall, Carol Wall, Dick Wall

Language: English

Run time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

Release date: 2020

MPAA rating: NR, documentary

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