You know the senior’s chorus that sings modern pop, rock and punk? They made a great documentary about them too.
Old people are cute, even more so when you put them in a context that we, the young(er) understand. And while seeing this white-haired group of elderly singing I Wanna Be Sedated is a novelty, the film does so much more than exploit the fish-out-of-water thing.
We meet the members of the group, from 93 year old Eileen to Joe, the man who can nail a song every time. I was worried that they would make fun of them, but we are shown that these folks are outspoken and serious artists who also happen to be very close friends. The choir’s director takes them very seriously.
But one of the things you have to expect in a group of octogenarians is that death is a fact of their lives. Along the way, we lose a couple of members, and each time the group takes it with a kind of matter-of-fact sorrow. It’s hard to imagine friends dying, but when you’re that old, it’s possible to lose ALL your friends. What if everyone who knows you was dead? The fact that these people are involved in singing together is probably a lifesaver. Get going on cultivating those hobbies, people. You’re gonna need them later.
You’d think that a movie about old people would be best FOR old people, but I think it’s a good idea to see this now. Partly because we are familiar with the songs that they’re singing– a version of Coldplay’s Fix You will tear you up, guaranteed. But the meanings of the songs changes so much in this context. Think Johnny Cash singing Hurt, and multiply.
But it’s so clear, seeing how the singers treat each other, that every day they are able to see each other and sing together is a gift. And that is something that really hit home: we must all be gentle with one another, because someday we will all die. Friendship and family, in the end, is all we have.