At 101, Rose is a former journalist, sex-therapist and counselor and now the oldest newspaper columnist in the world. Hetty, 102, is a veteran Stop-the-War campaigner and Alison, 87, is a novelist and self-styled 'establishment lady' who was once a committed member of the Communist Party. Hetty, Rose and Alison are three of the oldest residents of the Mary Feilding Guild, a home for the 'active elderly', and regularly share their impassioned concerns on everything from terrorism to global warming, not to mention the meaning of life, death and sex. Currently, Rose has a commitment to speak out for peace on Hiroshima Day. Hetty is preparing for her 84th anti-war march, while Alison is confronting failing health with her usual brand of curiosity and humor. And all this is set against the compelling vitality of daily life at the Guild: T'ai Chi on the lawn, scrabble competitions, visits by Rose's editor, concerts, dance classes and so it goes on. But despite their unstoppable enthusiasm, all three women are not simply ready for death, they actively want to die. At the end of lives lived with passion and purpose, Hetty, Rose and Alison are facing the painful reality of physical, sometimes mental, deterioration and its consequences for their sense of identity and worth. In the singular community of the Guild, they bring to the screen a rare perspective on old age. Like first-hand witnesses reporting back from the edge of their own mortality, they tell us things of which no-one ever speaks.
- Written by
Jocelyn Cammack / Hilary Durman
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