Elderhood as Simply a Part of Life: Four Films

August 4, 2015

Too often, perhaps, as educators we take aging and hold it up for clinical examination out of the context of life-wholeness. This can also happen when watching and reflecting on the role of older adults in movies. Now that portraying the experience of living in one’s older years has become much more common in mainstream cinema, I am enjoying seeing and reflecting on the obvious normativity of elderhood in life. This is something that we have resisted and turned away from for so long in our culture that it is pleasurable to finally relax into this reality and not have to call attention to a “rare” film that deals with “aging.”

I am finding that my criteria for enjoying and evaluating films that have older adulthood as part of their focus are now broader than before. I used to feel the need to isolate the older adult character or plot line and hold it up for examination. I now look for how well an older adult presence is integrated into the wholeness of the filmic story, and whether it rings true in that broader context. Four recent films give us the opportunity to examine this.

Read full review in The Gerontologist