Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Sunset Story


There’s a place in Los Angeles called Sunset Hall, which bills itself as a “Home for Free-thinking Elders.” It’s filled with aging communists, socialists, wobblies, and other lefties. These are people who have been involved in progressive causes all their lives, and the house is a good place, about as good as a place where you go to die can be. Some of them are far beyond radicalism, like the ex-Marine who can only be cajoled out of his Alzheimer’s trance by people standing him up and calling out “Left, right, left, right!” But there are two newcomers who still have all their wits about them. Irja is young; she’s just turned 80, while her friend Lucille, is 95 and Jewish. Both are long-time activists, and they still are, though they have to get to demonstrations in their wheelchairs and walkers. The movie follows them through their days until one of them inevitably dies. It’s a better way to go than a lot I can think of, but I’m reaching the age where aging itself seems scarier than actual death. Hard to watch, but a nice little film.