Last year an unknown film called Alive Inside took the Sundance Film Festival by storm and showed audiences that the spark of life can be ignited in the most unlikeliest places through the universal power of music.
I had the honor and pleasure to collaborate with Alive Inside Director Michael Rossato-Bennett through my work with Dr. Bill Thomas, featured in the film. What I love most about Alive Inside is how it changed the way thousands (maybe millions) of people think about dementia, and by extension, their own identity and their own aging.
Since its success, I have been keeping an eager eye out for the next film to have similar potential to transform the way people think about aging. I have found it in the film The Age of Love, a spell-binding new documentary Harvest is screening in Missoula July 22 at The Roxy. Click here for discounted advance tickets.
The Age of Love is a ground breaking new documentary that captures the universal nature of love through a humorous, poignant and unprecedented inside look at the dating scene for 70-to-90-year-olds. It is an almost painfully honest look at ordinary people finding themselves unexpectedly looking for love in late life. It follows eight older adults who agreed to be filmed as they participate in the emotional rollercoaster of speed dating.
Yes, speed dating — for septa-and-octogenarians. It’s a growing trend nationally and when filmmaker Steven Loring learned that 30 adults age 70-to-90 had signed up for a speed dating event he started calling participants to ask if he could interview them and film their experience.
Speed dating is a structured event that gathers a group of singles together and pairs them with one-another in a series of five minute mini-dates. Participants note down potential romantic interests on a scorecard that is submitted to an organizer after the event. No contact information is exchanged but if the scorecard indicates chemistry individuals are notified by mail and it’s on them to take it from there.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN SENIOR SPEED-DATING IN MISSOULA? CONTACT US FOR DETAILS ON MISSOULA’S FIRST SPEEDING DATING EVENT FOR 70-YEARS+
Sound like a gimmick put on for reality TV? One audience member at an early screening did call it “the best reality show I have ever seen.”
Dating late in life is no joke. We are inundated with cultural messages and
advertisements telling us we are less beautiful and less desirable the older we get. Tragically, some people find themselves alone and isolated just at the point in life when they most need and desire companionship.
As Janice, one of the film subjects, put it, “The heart might even be capable of more love now then before because I think I have a lot of love to give but I don’t have all the distractions I had before.”
In an interview Loring recounted a poignant conversation he had with an older women that I’ve heard echoed many times. That woman told him, “‘My own children don’t ask me what’s in my heart, what I’m feeling. They ask me what I need, they take care of me, they love me. But they never ask me about what I’m feeling emotionally. And I have so much to tell you…’”
The beauty of Age of Love is that it lets viewers – no matter their age – genuinely experience the truth that love and companionship transcend age. It flies in the face of our culture’s rampant ageism telling us that love, passion, sex and beauty are the exclusive domains of youth.
But it doesn’t hit viewers over the head with a message or an agenda. There are no fairy tale endings. The film simply gives viewers an experience where they feel what these people feel.
“When they put themselves out there and participated in this event these people just came alive,” Loring said. “They told me they felt liberated from society’s stereotypes.”
Age of Love Film Screening and Reception
July 22 @ 5:00 pm – 7:15 pm
The Roxy, 718 S Higgins Ave
Click here for discounted advance tickets.