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The Last Doll Lady (2017)

A free educational program ignited a 60 year passion for Selma. At 91, she's hoping to pass on it's legacy to a younger generation before it's too late


Taryn Hough


Taryn Hough
4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Selma Bukstein Selma Bukstein ... Self


In the 1950s a program called Dolls for Democracy was started. Women known as "doll ladies" would travel to local schools and teach children, through the use of hand carved character dolls, about why racism and intolerance is wrong. Over the decades the program has faded into obscurity, but one woman has made it her life's mission to reignite a nations passion for the programs hopeful message. Selma Bukstein was one of the original doll ladies, now 60 years later and at the age of 91, she's the last doll lady. The Last Doll Lady follows Selma's efforts to revitalize the program and pass on its legacy to a new generation

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Official Selection of the Low to No International Film Festival, Las Vegas, NV (2018) See more »

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Fascinating Story
30 December 2017 | by MaraLesemannSee all my reviews

Director Taryn Hough has crafted a fascinating look at a 60 year old program in the short "The Last Doll Lady." 91 year old Selma Bukstein is the last surviving member of B'nai B'rith's Dolls for Democracy program. This all-volunteer program used dolls modeled on famous Americans such as George Washington Carver and Helen Keller to educate students. Mrs. Bukstein has undertaken a last-ditch effort to revive the program.

Ms. Hough's 22 minute short illustrates many related issues, including the contemporary tendency of many to "accept" invitations to events that we have no plans to attend, and - at least obliquely - the focus on electronics over a live person giving a simple presentation. While the outcome of Mrs. Bukstein's efforts are never really in doubt, the students at the end of this excellent short offer a positive comment on how we often underestimate them.

I look forward to seeing more of Ms. Hough's work in the future.

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May 2017 (USA) See more »

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