Michael Rubbo | All about Olive
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All about Olive. (trailer)  I regard All about Olive as my most touching and engaging documentary. It began as a project about the phenomenon of centenarians, asking the question why so many people these days are living to 100 or more. In the course of research we found a standout character, Olive Riley who was at the time, 104. Olive had had a rough and mostly inconspicuous life. Nobody had paid the slightest attention to this little woman had been a barmaid, a cook on sheep stations, and a child in a family of 12 who had grown up in Broken Hill where she was born in 1898.

Abandoning the idea of an essay on centenarians, we hitched up with Olive and followed her back to her native Broken Hill to delve her memories of the past, see if there was anybody around who still remembered her and find a gravestone or two.

Olive is funny and feisty and soon takes over the production, telling me how recreations of her  life should be handled. It’s a wonderfully warm and inspiring film since somehow it gives you permission to keep on living with enthusiasm and passion.,long past your normal used by date.

After the film was finished, Olive became the world’s oldest blogger, a title she held until her death at 108 in 2008. On the blog, there  frequently appeared clips of Olive singing songs and telling stories. Some of them I’ve added here, but there are many more if you go to YouTube.

The first clip is a trailer for the one-hour movie. I may get round to putting the whole film up on YouTube. It deserves to be there.  Olive marks my transition from longer financed films,  aimed at broadcast TV, to short films made for YouTube. Many of which you can find elsewhere on the site.

Oiive sings Bye Bye,  Blackbird

Olive sings, Pack up your troubles in your old kitbag and smile smile smile

Olive talks about fishing.

Olive speaks about her family. From the movie