Autumn Gold 0+

(Herbstgold), Jan Tenhaven, D - A 2010, German version / Czech and English subtitles, 94 min

This film offers a sensitive, formally elegant, and occasionally cheerful portrait of five athletes competing at the 18th international senior citizen World Masters Championships in the Finnish city of Lahti. The makers of this documentary elegantly show us how well one can preserve a healthy spirit, a vigorous mind and admirable levels of fitness in an aging body. The protagonists include the Viennese centenarian Alfred Proksche, who paints female nudes in his spare time, the 94-year-old Italian discus thrower Gabre Gabric-Calvesi, 93-year-old Herbert Liedtke, a ferocious sprinter from Stockholm, and Jiří Soukup, an 82-year-old high-jumper from Hradec Králové. For them, preparing for the championships, and the individual competitions themselves, is primarily a race against time. The film looks at the private lives of these aged athletes, whose greatest challenge is not about beating a world record, but their age. Despite this, they still hope that their performance next year will be a little bit better.

 

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