Growing Up and Growing Old in America: a Preschool Housed within a Retirement Home

Set in a preschool housed within a retirement home, Present Perfect explores the experience of growing up and growing old in America.

Present Perfect explores the very real experience of aging in America- both growing up, and growing old. It was filmed in a preschool housed completely within a retirement home, powerfully capturing the subtleties and complexities of the young children’s interactions with the elderly residents, while challenging us to consider what we’re doing- and what we’re not- to prepare future generations for what’s to come. What value does a person have to others throughout their life? Are we asking for the right contributions from each other? How do we measure and define a successful life? While this film doesn’t shy away from confronting some difficult realities, it is ultimately a life-affirming story of hope that, we believe, just might lead to serious positive change.

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Here, let me help you with that…

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One of our infant community members decided he wanted to help fold laundry this morning; a favorite work for many of our young babies.

“Among the revelations the child has brought us, there is one of fundamental importance, the phenomenon of normalisation through work…Man builds himself through working, working with his hands, but using his hands as the instruments of his ego, the organ of his individual mind and will, which shapes its own existence face to face with its environment. The child’s instinct confirms the fact that work is an inherent tendency in human nature; it is the characteristic instinct of the human race.” (Dr. Maria Montessori, ‘The Secret of Childhood’, Orient Longman Limited, 195)