Mixing the very young and the very old is not a bad idea, as this project of opening a pre-school inside a nursing home shows. The footage of the interactions between the kids and the elders teach us all how important human connections are.
As we age, it becomes harder and harder for our families to take care of us, in many cases whether by design or because there is simply no one to take care of us, many of us will end up in a nursing home. The place is usually depressing, with old, mostly sick, people living on their own and being cared for by nursing home staff instead of family members.
The monotony of everyday life at this particular nursing home is interrupted when the very young join the very old, as part of a pre-school. This social experiment is documented by creator and director Evan Briggs on the short film, Present Perfect.
“Set in a preschool housed in a retirement home, Present Perfect is a story at once simple and intricate, about the poetry that lies in the day-to-day interactions between the very young and the very old — those at the beginning of life and those nearing the end — and ultimately, what those relationships can reveal to us all about the way we live now.”
Briggs — who started a Kickstarter campaign to fund the film — says that the inspiration for Present Perfect came from her interest in the experience of aging in America. The filmmaker says she likes “simple, subtle” subject matters that make people think about any particular subject, in this case the isolation residents of the nursing home, the Mount, feel despite being surrounded by others in the same situation.
“Over the course of the months I was filming at the Mount, I observed many incredible exchanges between residents and kids. Some were sweet, some awkward, some funny- all of them poignant and heartbreakingly real. One experience in particular occurred during a morning visit between the toddler classroom and several residents who had gathered to sing songs together. Everyone had just finished a rendition of ‘You Are My Sunshine’ when one of the residents began to share a memory he had of singing that very same song late at night on a bus full of soldiers while serving overseas during World War II.”
Watch the trailer for the documentary Present Perfect which explores how pre-school children bring joy to nursing home residents.
[Image via Present Perfect screenshot / YouTube]