Produced and directed by Sari Gilman
2012. 31 minutes. HBO
Kings Point, a short documentary on HBO, introduces us to several residents of a retirement community in Florida. We hear them describe their wishes for companionship, their reasons for leaving NYC in the 1970s for the better climate, the attractions of the location, the common desire for a better life.
Now thirty years later, those who were just beginning their retirement in the 1970s are in the last stage of life, and some wonder what they gave up by leaving their families behind up north. By family, they mean their children, their grandchildren, their great grandchildren. In this community it does not seem that there is a wing for those whose health declines and need nursing care. There is little discussion of this among the old people, just a wish not to have to listen to bad news (which inevitably means the decline of someone’s health).
There are so many more women than men here, a single man creates conflicts and bitchy behavior. The one man we get to know who looks much younger is blunt. “I already buried my wife. I want someone to bury me.”
The idea of survival is temporary as we witness the quick decline and death of most of the subjects of this sobering film.
There are so many stages that lead us to our final demise, it is hard to prepare for all of them. The movie made me question what is the most dignified way to grow old.
I am still thinking of it days later.