Sunset Story | Chicago Reader

Sunset Story

Set in a Los Angeles retirement home for leftists, where the balcony sports a “Free Mumia” sign, Laura Gabbert's deeply moving documentary focuses on the friendship between Irja, an 81-year-old former special ed teacher, and Lucille, a 95-year-old former social worker, both of whom retired at 76 but are still sharp as a pin. From the opening shot of a cane and wheelchair wheels as Lucille pushes Irja down a hall, Gabbert displays a fine eye for the physical details and rhythms of the residents' lives. They aren't all coherent, but they sing union songs and attend a pro-public transit demonstration. Friendship is portrayed here in its finest form—based on common interests but accommodating disagreements. By the end it seems that what Irja and Lucille have really shared is love. 73 min.


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