Very Senior – Attitude is everything

World Premiere
DOC NYC, November 2018

Germany Premiere
March 28, 2019, Hamburg

Very Senior Film Poster


There is a place in Arizona, so peaceful, people come there to die. It's a retirement community, in the middle of the desert, especially designed for seniors, with palm trees and bungalows, blue skies, red sunsets, tons of pharmacies and extra wide streets for a comfortable ride in your golf cart! In this sunny paradise, we see all the different shades of aging: as a state of excitement, fear, joy and pain.

Everyone living here has to find their own way to deal with life while facing death: Olive has kept her humour, even though her body is limiting her life. She still sings, still goes for a walk, still dances with her hoover in the living room, and she is still looking for her roller blades, which remind her of good times but which she can't use anymore. What Olive is not willing to accept, is her daughter treating her like she has Alzheimer's. Who diagnosed that?

Aging is a condition where "aches and pains are part of the deal", as Jim states. On the other hand, you have reached a point in your life where you can just shrug and say: “Get over it or take a pill to make you feel good”. At least, that's what Betty-Jane is recommending. Anything is better than complaining, isn't it?

“They say we come out to Sun City to die.
Thats what happens. But to have fun while we are doing it!”

Jim, 88

Roger and Kitty are still very passionate about driving their Harley together, but decided to give up the bike when Roger turns 80. Roger is convinced, that most people in Sun City have good sex. Even better sex than 40 years ago and 88-year old Dee would agree. She is almost blind, deaf and handicapped walking but she likes to have her nails done before her lover comes over to spend the night.

All of these seniors teach us something, without intending to do so: If you don't have much time left, you can choose to make the best out of it. Jim sums it up quite carefree: “They say we come out to Sun City to die. Thats what happens. But to have fun while we are doing it!”

How do you deal with daily life and still manage to enjoy it when death is just around the corner? With Attitude! A light-hearted reminder that being happy is a decision we can take.

“Incredibly upbeat and hopefull!”


Director's words

This documentary circles around age and death in a funny, absurd, reflecting and bitterly honest way at the same time. And on the side it shows how an utopian community, build specifically for the older generation may work for those who decided to leave their families and friends to start a second life - or not.

“Being in the clayclub I said to Kitty: I'm gonna make us an urne.”

Roger, 75

The film doesn't have an intellectual or a scientific approach. It simply touches on a lot of important issues about aging, what it means to those who do and how they deal with it. Self-determination until the very end is intensively discused in western societies. Here we find answers to the topic. People who come to retire in Sun City have actively taken decisions themselves for their last years. Attitude is needed. This is what the film circles around. Sun City serves as the stage where the characters of the film perform the drama of old age as a metaphorical round dance. People are opening up doors and invite us to take a closer look on a serious and personal topic - and offer the question to us: how do we want to age ourselves?


Abraham Meth, 101
Jim Koopman, 83
Jan, 65 und Mike Jackson, 65
Kitty, 74 und Roger Yadro, 75
Olive Hosmer, 87
Earl Warren, 69
Kelley Greenburg
One foot in the grave
Betty-Jane Peters, 90
Dee, 88 and Dutch Schultz, 90

Technical data

LENGTH 74 Min. / 24f/s
SUBTITLES German available
VOICEOVER German available

FORMAT 1:1,85
SOUND 5.1 digital
SIZE: 1080x1920
PG: 6