‘Some Kind of Heaven’ Is A Slice of Life in The Villages

The New York Times, 30West, Protozoa Pictures, Los Angeles Media Fund

A documentary about a select cast of retirees and seniors may not seem like an exciting time, but Some Kind of Heaven strikes an oddly fascinating tone as it follows the people who decided to call The Villages their home during the final act of their lives.

Life is different for everybody and this community provides something unique for the people who inhabit it. Some people are discovering themselves, others are dealing with becoming a widow, and one person might just be trying to survive by doing whatever it takes, even if it doesn’t make him happy. It truly is a glimpse into these people’s lives and we just get a slice of it as we come to understand what it is that motivates them.

It’s a fairly standard documentary, following all of the same rules and expectations that other projects do. However, there are certain scenes that, because of the way they’re filmed, feel like an indie feature film. On their own, without context, there’d be no reason to think they weren’t part of something more ambitious or creative. Why these scenes exist, I cannot say, but they’re a nice break in between the narratives on display.

Just as interesting is what drew these people to The Villages: A simpler life among people in similar situations. The allure and fantasy of the community itself. A throwback to the “good old days.” The absence of state income taxes in Florida. The documentary is also reminiscent of some real films, one of them being Poms, which is about a group of retired women in a senior living community who form their own cheerleading team. This definitely happened in The Villages.

Put your feet up and take Some Kind of Heaven lightly. Maybe even make a margarita. Could you see yourself living here?

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