What can the very old and the very young offer each other if given the chance? A new documentary called “Present Perfect” by filmmaker Evan Briggs explores that question.
This film takes place at Providence St. Vincent, a Seattle senior center that is home to over 400 elderly residents. The center also houses a preschool called the Intergenerational Learning Center. Here, children and residents come together five days a week to engage in a variety of activities such as dancing, lunch, art, storytelling, or just hanging out. This intergenerational experiment has had an incredible effect on St. Vincent’s residents.
According to Briggs, senior residents have a “complete transformation in the presence of the children. Moments before the kids came in, sometimes the people seemed half alive, sometimes asleep. It was a depressing scene. As soon as the kids walked in for art or music or making sandwiches for the homeless or whatever the project that day was, the residents came alive.”
Briggs hopes this film, as well as the work being done at the Intergenerational Learning Center, will spark a conversation about aging in America. On her Kickstarter page she says, “Shooting this film and embedding myself in the nursing home environment also allowed me to see with new eyes just how generationally segregated we’ve become as a society. And getting to know so many of the amazing residents of the Mount really highlighted the tremendous loss this is for us all.”
Take a look at the trailer here
-reprinted from Good Magazine