The show must go on by Heijnen, Hans
Hordes of cheerleaders, fitness fanatics and tap-dancing men are not strange phenomena in America. But if these people have reached retirement, it is something else. Welcome to Sun City West, Arizona, a paradise for seniors, where the crime rate is extremely low (two murders in eight years) and the number of clubs and associations extremely high. Anyone with a grain of talent can fill days and nights with singing, dancing, sports and music. But behind the shiny golden layer of this non-competitive, non-aggressive community, a great deal of grief lies hidden. Director Hans Heijnen has a number of inhabitants take off their masks of happiness and prosperity. Juliana, for example, a variety dancer hopping round in an ultra-short skirt turns out to be excruciatingly lonely after her husband's unexpected death. And tough sheriff Al has been trying for years to prepare himself for the demise of his wife, who suffers from lung cancer and pulmonary emphysema. In the mean time, Heijnen lets the images of the old people's paradise speak for themselves: elderly ladies in golden cat suits and marching-girl dresses, swelling beer bellies above bony tap-dancing legs, power-walkers with headphones, illuminations on the lawn, next to the cactus and palm tree. The sometimes downright surrealistic images are accompanied by music from the fifties, fitting in nicely with the extracts from countless slick variety shows, which a true inhabitant of Sun City West keeps participating in until he drops dead.