A Dame’s Tale.
This film was made for my Masters in Visual Anthropology, completed September 2016 and is a result of my personal research project that spanned 9 months.
The film is based in the city centre suburb of Ancoats, Manchester, specifically Victoria Square, a gated community providing sheltered housing for the over 60s. Reflecting the area’s rich industrial history, Victoria Square is Manchester’s first purpose built social housing for mill workers from 1894. Now, this enclosed pocket of an older generation is situated in an increasingly gentrified and youthful area which reflects the general demographic of Greater Manchester in particular, with only 9.1% of residents over 65 in contrast to a national average closer to 19%. I wanted to explore how these elderly urban residents live their everyday lives.
The documentary follows just one resident, Gracy, who demonstrates that themes of ageing, illness and wellbeing might not always be addressed in ways we might think. Addressing universal themes of life, death and illness I follow his (sometimes outrageous!) unexpected tales of past, present and future through frocks, flowers and fireworks.
N.B mature content and very strong language throughout
- Jemma O'Brien