Basically, this film comprises of three stories about aging which show
different approaches to the subject:
- Bob Ross was diagnosed with colon cancer 4 years ago, shortly before
retirement - which pretty uch thrashed all the plans for the future in
Florida he and his wife have made. Still, he pushes onwith a positive
attitude and manages to outlive his life expectancy by far. To support
him, his wife buys him a new boat, not because he will be able to use
it much anymore, but because it gives him something to do and to look
forward to. Sadly, Bob Ross died before this film was finished.
- Helen Metros is a waitress at Charlie's Kitchen. She is way past 70,
and she could have retired long ago, but her job keeps her fresh and
alive, and it has made her so much a part of the neighbourhood she
can't even begin to think about retiring.
- Dr. Paul Mazur provides health care to elders, regardless of their
income. As a consequence, he also witnesses the darker sides of aging,
making visits to overcrowded nursing homes and hospices, dealing with
senile patients and even homeless people. Not an easy job, but he
takes pride in doing it ...
This is not so much a documentary as it is a meditation about aging, as
it presents its three totally independent stories in an utterla
unjudgemental way and leaves it to the viewer to come up with his own
conclusions. What the film does however is to treat its subject and all of
its protagonists, even if they're senile, alcoholics, homeless and
whatnot, with dignity.
In all, probably one of the best films on a topic that has been
marginalized in our youth-obsessed (yet overaging) society, and one of the
exceedingly rare examples of a documentary that makes you think without
overfeeding you with (at best questionable) facts.
By the way, if you want to find out more about the film, go to www.GrowingOld.info.