None of us wants to think about our grandparents “doing it”. We pretend to ourselves that at a certain age, people lose interest in sex. We keep it in the realm of the young – those with firm bodies, unbridled passions and, well… flexibility.
In 69 Love Sex Senior, filmmaker Menna Laura Meijer not only challenges our denial of older people as sexual beings but also explores their broad variety of sexual and romantic experiences. She shows that sex and love continue into older years in just as many different forms as we see amongst the young. Together with her wonderfully warm and entertaining selection of older people she explores a broad spectrum of experiences and expectations.
During the course of the film, we meet Atie and Kees, inseparable, in love and still excited by each other after 60 years together. Hans, a bi-sexual man who after a lifetime of promiscuity discovers the joy of love with 50 year old Xander, proclaiming that it has him “blowing trumpets”. Wietske describes the intensity of the love between her and her now senile husband, as she seeks comfort from her boyfriend, a recent widower trying to fill the void left by his wife. Gerard and Addy, in their early 70’s, reconnect to enjoy the passion they’d momentarily tasted during an experimental partner swap in 1968.
Every story has its own insights, its own warmth. Although confronting at times (there are sex scenes included), Meijer’s slow, quiet approach to story-telling allows time to breathe in the various snippets of her subjects very personal lives, to absorb them and be warmed by them. It is a slow-paced film but it feels right – it feels like it moves at the pace of those telling their stories.
For anyone who has ever thought that love was for the young, this is a heartwarming film that will convince you there is plenty of reason to hope for a passionate third age.
69 Love Sex Senior is showing as part of the Human Rights Film Festival.
When: Tuesday 20 May, 8:45pm
Where: Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Price: Full $18 | Conc $16 | Group (6+) $14 (group booking via phone only)