Film is a way to enter visual civilization of the 21st century.
I have been dealing theoretically and in practice (teaching, guidance, etc.) with ageing issues, active ageing, learning in later life for thirty years and more. Therefore, it is difficult for me / my institution to learn inspiring, shattering, new lessons from practice, events or studies, even from our own research. Nevertheless, let me entrust the readers with a short account of the lessons I learned from CINAGE, an EU project about active ageing and film making funded by European Commission.
Film is the most important cultural practice of the 20th and the 21st century. It is a system of representations, an inspiration, but also a vehicle of stereotypes.
Film helps (older) people understand themselves, discuss themselves and society. In all cases it significantly shapes their individual and social identity.
Film enables older people to enter visual communication, the most important type of communication in the 21st century in our visual civilisation.
Creativity and generativity are ways and conditions sine qua non to age actively. How to be active without being creative?
Films are full of stereotypes about older people, since they are made mostly by those who are younger. Younger people do not and cannot know how older people think, how older people feel, how older people talk. Films about older people should be made by older script writers and film directors.
The right questions should be asked about old age and older people. It is time we stepped out from the ideology (a set of beliefs) about older people and out of our own ideology to begin with. It is time to set the right questions as to get the right answers.
We should take care of social fairness on all levels: on the distributive, cultural and symbolic level.
The participants in the CINAGE course are now positive about what is active and non active ageing. They are able to tell the difference.
Dušana Findeisen, Slovenian Third Age University
Dr. Dušana Findeisen, is a professional expert for active ageing, intergenerational learning, volunteering and education of elderly people. In 1984, together with prof. dr. Ana Krajnc, they founded the Third Age University in Ljubljana, where she develops and explores third age education – its importance for the elderly and society.