Representation of Older People in Film - Alternative Methods

Although the world and particularly higher-income countries are aging, we live in a youth-oriented society. This research project examines the representation of older people in current day German-speaking fiction films. Data of the pilot study shows that older people are highly underrepresented, stereotyped, and mostly depicted in a negative light. Ageist remarks and jokes are also commonly used. Theoretical research gives the possibility to identify the common representation patterns. However the gap between academic research and film practice remains. I intend to find the link between theory and practice. How can academic research and art contribute to each other and acquire knowledge from each other? My plan is to invite people in retirement age to re-enact the most typical scenes identified in the theoretical research and to reflect about their experiences thereafter. I want to give older people a voice to evaluate and reason about the scenes themselves. The result will be a creative documentary film. The aim of this study is to encourage a critical discussion about the representation of older people in film by combining theoretical and artistic research methods.

Media Perspectives, Film, Older people, Identities, Cultural representation, Stereotypes

Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

  • Astra Zoldnere
    • PhD Candidate , Film , Filmuniversit├Ąt Babelsberg Konrad Wold , Germany Germany
    • Astra Zoldnere is a Latvian film director and researcher. In her line of work practical and theoretical aspects of film interact with each other. Astra studies in artistic-scientific PhD program at Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF. Her practice-based PhD project examines the representation of older people in film. Her research also concentrates on topics like documetary film, cultural trauma and scientific-artistic methods in film research. Her documentary short films Treasues of the Sea and Blueberry Spirits have been showed in many film festial and received prizes. Astra Zoldnere works as program director at Riga International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS and is an author at European Documentary Film Magazine Modern Times Review.