Caregivers is a hybrid documentary about eldercare in the hills of rural Vermont. Told over the course of four seasons and featuring live accompaniment by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the film is a powerful meditation on acts of compassion, companionship, and the quest for closure. In partnership with the VSO, Kreitzer intends to tour the finished film with live orchestration to rural and medically-underserved communities using a pay-what-you-can ticketing model. Support the ongoing production by making a tax-deductible donation here.
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Caregivers arrived without invitation over a decade ago and has stomped, howled and whispered for attention ever since. The son of a social worker and nurse, I suppose this story was built into my DNA long before then.
A meditation on companionship, grief, and the quest for closure, the story extends well beyond my own experience. Today, nearly ten million adult children care for an aging parent--- a figure that has tripled over the past decade and will continue to grow. In the next fifteen years, an estimated 60 million baby boomers will succumb to the forces of mortality. Another sixty million by 2060. Known in eldercare circles as “the silver tsunami”, a generational decline of this scale is unprecedented, underway and accelerating, yet end-of-life issues remain a cultural taboo. We avoid, we keep private, we don’t “do death well”. Meanwhile, the increasing demands placed on institutional care systems put them at high risk of implosion. As our nation grows older, and the first tides crash ashore, it’s time we ask questions about how we care for our aging parents, how we cope, and how we accept.
Admittedly, this is challenging material. I get that. I’ve seen the walls build up as soon as I mention a film about eldercare. But I also know that cinema is the best medium to deal with difficult subject matter. Using visual storytelling to engage a global audience, and live accompaniment to create a one-of-a-kind experience, the film creates a platform to open and shift the discourse on eldercare. With film as the vehicle, it’s time to honor the millons of caregivers, past and present, who have quietly forfeited livelihoods to care for aging parents, and prepare a new generation to do the same.
Lanterna Newsletter, In Pictures: A First-Look at "Caregivers"
Lanterna Newsletter, Kreitzer Presents First-Look with Live Orchestration at 3rd Annual MNFF
Take Magazine, Jesse Kreitzer: Truth in Filmmaking I PDF
Seven Days, Vermont Filmmaker to Create Film on Elder Care I PDF
Lanterna Newsletter, Project Announcement #1
Lanterna Newsletter, Project Announcement #2
Lanterna Newsletter, Vermont Symphony Orchestra Partners on Next Project