Published May 05, 2009It seems that the human propensity for idealism and wilful ignorance in all things romantic doesn't fade in the golden years, given that the documentary subject here, Ana, managed to fall in love at 63 with Arthur, a 28-year-old, and attempted to build a life together. The doc takes place at the seven-year mark of their relationship, with a 35-year-old Arthur dropping Ana for soil that's more fertile, at least a bit.
There are no squabbles or shouting matches in the film, rather there is a quiet, contemplative tone that examines the dissolution of a relationship in a manner similar to how romance and passion inevitably fade from all unions. The conversations between the pair are strangely predictable, given Ana's raw, emotional honesty and Arthur's removed indifference. They may be in the same room but Arthur has already left and Ana doesn't want to let go.
As the couple had built a spiritual retreat together where patients with terminal illnesses would receive new age treatment, the doc flips between these first-person interviews and the couple's working life, with Ana playing the doctor and Arthur the farmer. Ana consults patients and wraps them in clay, while Arthur sticks his arm up cow vaginas to assist in birthing.
While thoughtful and rightfully sombre, what is missing from the doc is sufficient back-story and perspective. A look at Arthur's childhood relationship with his grandmother may have been interesting, as would have some external perceptions of their union.
As it stands, we get only a look at Ana's heartache, as she struggles with the realization that dating a man half her age probably wasn't the best idea, considering the human maturation process and the inevitability of his eventually moving on.