Archives / 2008 Sundance Film Festival

Young@Heart

Director: Stephen Walker

Institute History

  • 2008 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Since 1982, Young@Heart, a chorus composed of senior citizens, has entertained audiences at home and abroad with unique renditions of punk, rock, and rhythm-and-blues songs by musicians as disparate as the Clash, Coldplay, and James Brown. With a new show titled "Alive and Well" six weeks away, Young@Heart's taskmaster choral director has six new songs for these inspiring elders to learn, from Sonic Youth's discordant "Schizophrenia" to Allen Toussaint's tongue-twisting "Yes, We Can Can."

This is no mere novelty act for its members. Young@Heart is at once a serious musical undertaking, a supportive community, and a way to stay active and engaged when society often expects seniors to be passive and quiet. The group's eclectic and entertaining repertoire shines a spotlight on taboos about old age—the Clash's "Should I Stay, or Should I Go?" becomes an amusing meditation on life and death, while Bob Dylan's "Forever Young" serves as a haunting ode to lost youth and fallen friends.

While the chorus prepares for the concert, some members struggle with serious health problems, impressing us even further with the special challenges the group faces. Funny, poignant, and inspirational, Stephen Walker's intimate documentary demonstrates that the Young@Heart chorus only gets better with age.

— Basil Tsiokos

Screening Details

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