Switzerland, Austria, 92 min
Imagine a sprawling city of 155,000 retired people, equipped with 54 golf courses, 70 swimming pools and its very own news organisation. The thousands of inhabitants of The Villages, in Florida, live isolated from the world in a bubble of leisure in which age is no longer an issue. But it all comes at a cost, one paid by the flora, fauna, and the local population.
The Villages in Florida is now the fastest growing “town” in the country; 155,000 inhabitants, 54 golf courses, 70 swimming pools, soon to be four times the size of Manhattan, all impeccably maintained. All the inhabitants have left the icy North to spend happy years in this paradise where everything is leisure, carefree and, above all, where age is no longer an issue. Isolated from the rest of the world, the population sustains the golden age of a proud and conquering Aerica, Republican and white, consumerist and unapologetic uncomplicated. The advent of a model of governance, here based on a family business that has successfully sold a lifestyle, all of it fed by an internal press organisation. Valerie Blankenbyl and her team scratch away at the veneer of this utopia where shooting permits are rarely granted, and where the “management” seems to want to muzzle any of the bubble’s opponents. For, on the outside, the anger of the local population is growing. The annexation of new lands and the occupants’ energy-consuming way of life are constantly jeopardising a fragile ecosystem.
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du Thursday 15 April – 15:00
au Sunday 18 April – 15:00