Growing old, something we all face. Growing old in the New York of the 1970’s where
Life wasn’t so beautiful and the winters were cold
created a diaspora to Florida–over half a million people over 55 moved to Florida from 1975 to 1980, according to the Census Bureau. In Delray Beach an enterprising developer created a seemingly idyllic community of two-story stucco buildings surrounded by tropical plants, with swimming pools, shuffleboard courts, and recreation halls. They named it Kings Point. The down payment was $1,500, slightly more for a second story unit since supposedly the bugs couldn’t get in. (In a stunning oversight, there are no elevators!)
Kings Point, the subject of tonight’s documentary directed by guest Sari Gilman, follows the lives of the residents of Kings Point in this 30-minute, award winning documentary. The seniors, mainly women, are active, lively, engaged, playing mah jong and gossiping, but there are undertones. The women admit to the camera that if they are sick, their “friends” don’t visit them, that they can’t discuss ailments or fears with other residents since everyone has their own set of problems.
Love and romance are also on the ladies’ minds. Bea entertains her “friend” Frank, who is ten years younger, but he admits he doesn’t want to marry her, not only because of her explosive personality, but because of her age; he buried his first wife, he doesn’t want to bury a second. Meanwhile, other widows are content with each others’ company, discussing the foibles of their fellow residents.
The Kings Point residence model doesn’t have assisted living. It doesn’t seem to take into account that an age-segregated community will reach a tipping point where residents will no longer be able to care for themselves, where they are separated from family by thousands of miles.
Director Sari Gilman paints sensitive, in-depth portraits of these seniors in Kings Point, raising questions inside the viewers’ minds, leaving us to ponder our own futures.