Yellowlegs documentary by Greg Young

Raconteur storyteller Orunamamu is trying to hold on to her 30 year dream of making her house a storytelling museum. Her well intentioned friends and family want to help her through these last years by rehabilitating the house, but the very act of helping can erode the independence that keeps her active and engaged in life. Orunamamu knows the importance of having goals and being deliberate in pursuing them. Her age sets into motion the dramatic struggle between sharing life's adventure through her storytelling museum and preparing for a life dependent on others.

Do you know yellowlegs is a storytelling museum? is a character study of aging and independence told through this charming storyteller's intertwined relationships with friends and family.

-Greg Young

About the Storyteller

A former teacher of the Berkeley school district, Orunamamu started storytelling in her 50s, having been influenced by her storytelling grandmother and father. Her house in Oakland, California, called Yellowlegs, provides the main stage for her storytelling today, and is also a refuge for her abundant supply of storytelling parafinalia. Currently in her 80s, Orunamamu travels extensively, telling stories to everyone who will listen, and continues to work toward organizing her storytelling museum.

About the Film Maker

Greg Young retired in 2002 after 27 years as an award winning graphic designer for the University of California, Berkeley to pursue his passion for documentary film making. His first documentary, Do you know yellowlegs is a storytelling museum?, reflects his interest in character driven, verite style film making. Shooting all hand held digital video allows Young more intimacy with his subjects, and gives him the ability to be less invasive during the shoot. "I enjoy making small canvas documentaries that reveal human qualities we develop as we get older," says Young, who edits from his home studio in Pacific Grove, CA.

Selected Screenings

2004 Real To Reel Film Festival
Kings Mountain, North Carolina

2003 Berkeley Art Center Film Festival
Berkeley, California


What screeners have said about Do you know yellowlegs is a storytelling museum?

"It's a great character study."

Timothy Phelan
Festival Director,
Berkeley Art Center
Berkeley, CA

"You did a wonderful job capturing the spirit of an unusually delicious human being."

Diane Flanders
Portland, OR

"Congratulations!! It is a very rock steady production. You have captured with a light touch Mom, her circumstances and the conundrum that she and they provide for those of us who love her."

Ed Washington
Calgary, Canada

"Orunamamu has encouraged me to look at my own life. In one sense, it makes me grateful for all that I have been able to do. In another it tempts me to take more creative chances by living truer to myself, rather than follow what our society typically expects from a woman and a mother."

Michelle Frey-Schutters
Berkeley, CA

"The Washingtons don't act as though you aren't there, they act as though you BELONG there, just as they do. Your editing moves things along beautifully, and you don't try to hammer us with any kind of agenda other than what is happening in front of the camera. Really well done."

Philip Perkins
Sound Editor
Albany, CA

Directed by Greg Young
Running time: 39 minutes
Color, Digital Video, 1.33 aspect