Largely thanks to an unusually long period of peace and decades of medical and scientific advancements, most, if not all, of the Western world has rapidly aging populations. Whilst standards of living and life expectancy are undoubtedly improving, birth rates are increasingly falling; with many now choosing not to have children. As societies, we’re not set up for this shift in the age demographic and the need to address the problems this generates has become critical. Elderly care has become a big issue in 2021.
Responses to this crisis have differed around the world but as you’d probably expect there are a lot more choices for those with money. Unsurprisingly, in America this is particularly the case. Much has been made of the gated retirement communities that have sprung up across the country, but you might not have heard of The Villages. Located in north Florida, this sprawling development houses 150,000 residents. It’s the subject of The Bubble.
The Bubble documents the seemingly ideal life enjoyed by those lucky enough to be able to afford to live in The Villages. However, the community has largely taken over much of Sumter Country and isn’t shy of treating public spaces and amenities as its own. Whilst the inhabitants love having everything they could ever want on their doorstep, the constant expansion is increasingly concerning to other locals. Not everything is as it first seems in this tainted paradise as Valerie Blankenbyl film so deftly illustrates.
The Bubble screens at Visions du Réel.