Seven Songs for a Long Life

A terminal diagnosis used to mean death within months, but 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.

Seven Songs for a Long Life poster

Original Film Poster

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?

Patients at Strathcarron Hospice 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.


The educational edition of Seven Songs for a Long Life is designed to be useful for patients, families, carers, health students, health professionals and the general public in the UK.

  • the 60 minute version of Seven Songs for a Long Life
  • 11 education clips, developed into modules to facilitate discussion in groups
  • an accompanying booklet with teaching tools and a discussion guide
  • a guide to What Matters in the End?, a post-screening workshop to assist end of life planning
  • interactive sessions with patients and staff
  • tips on how to further your practice.


More information here.

Amy Hardie also created a simple workshop “What Matters in the End” which asks four simple questions, after the viewing of the film.

Watch the guidance video.

Get in touch if you want to screen the film.



Seven Songs for a Long Life poster

Original Film Poster


Amy Hardie


Sonja Henrici, Amy Hardie


Lori Cheatle


Colin Monie, Nick Gibbon


SDI Productions Ltd, Amy Hardie Productions, Hard Working Movies 


BBC Scotland, Creative Scotland,  Bertha Foundation, Bertha Britdoc, Yle, POV/PBS

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