“Welcome to The DocArena Podcast in association with Film Ireland. My name is Ross Whitaker and every fortnight, I want to dig deeply into the motivations of documentary filmmakers – how do they choose their subject material and what approaches and strategies do they employ to fund, craft and distribute their work…
In this episode of The DocArena Podcast, Ross talks to Lance Oppenheim, a filmmaker from South Florida. Lance’s debut feature documentary, Some Kind of Heaven, explores life inside the palm-tree-lined streets of The Villages, America’s largest retirement community in Florida. Referred to as the “Disneyland for Retirees,” this planned community is home to over 130,000 seniors. It offers residents a utopian version of the American yesteryear: wide, safe streets, perfectly manicured lawns, and countless activities all in service of enjoying their golden years. While most residents have bought into its packaged positivity, we meet four residents living on the margins, striving to find happiness. Married couple Anne and Reggie wrestle with Reggie’s deteriorating grip on reality, Barbara, a widow, seeks second love, and Dennis, an 82-year-old bachelor living out of a van, looks for a way out of a peripatetic existence. By turns biting, tender, and surreal, the film demonstrates that no matter our age, we are always becoming. With strikingly composed cinematography, Some Kind of Heaven challenges our stereotypes around aging, emboldening its characters to live as vibrantly as possible in the time they have left.
Some Kind of Heaven is available on Dogwoof on Demand and other digital platforms from 14th May 2021.
Ross Whitaker is a documentary filmmaker (Katie, The Boys in Green, Between Land and Sea) and is a former editor of Film Ireland Magazine and programmer of the IFI Dublin Documentary Film Festival @RossWhitakerTV
Podcast music composed by michaelflemingmusic.com
Film Ireland Podcasts