New Calgary documentary explores late-in-life romance: ‘Love was what I discovered’

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Calgary film focuses on late-in-life romance
Director Dominique Keller discusses what inspired her to make "Love: The Last Chapter," a local film about late-in-life romance that is opening the Calgary Underground Film Festival – Nov 22, 2021

You’re never too old for romance.

That is the message of a new Calgary documentary called Love: The Last Chapter by director Dominique Keller.

Keller shot the film pre-pandemic when she lived at a Calgary seniors’ facility for a month.

“I followed three different couples that lived in the residence,” she told Global News on Monday.

“One couple was a long-term romance. They’d been married for a very long time. Another couple, it was a new romance and it was really uncertain, and then yet another couple is looking at taking that next step in their relationship.”

A still from “Love: The Last Chapter,” a documentary by Calgary filmmaker Dominque Keller. Courtesy: Dominque Keller

Keller said the experience of living in a seniors’ home was amazing.

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“I don’t know many people my age that get to move into a seniors’ residence and live there for a month. I mean, I went all in,” she said.

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“I ate all my meals there, I played bingo, I did a sit aerobics class, and I did all of that so that I could make connections and make the connections necessary to tell this really personal, intimate story.”

Love: The Last Chapter marks Keller’s third story about aging. Her first one detailed how her grandma was the oldest person in Alberta to get her driver’s licence.

“While I was filming with my grandma, I got to spend a lot of time with her and her friends, and I got very fascinated by the fact that the hopes and dreams of an 80-year-old aren’t that different from, say, a 30-year-old, especially when you’re talking about issues like love and romance and intimacy,” she said.

“I thought, ‘Wow, isn’t that an interesting story to tell that we often don’t hear?'”

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The lesson Keller picked up on was that as wrinkles start to form and people move into the golden years of their lives, they let go of more things.

“Often you lose close friends, you lose your career, you will retire, and when you move into a seniors’ facility, you go from, say, a 1,500-square-foot house to just 200 square feet, so many of your material possessions leave,” she explained.

“What I really discovered was that as you enter that last chapter of your life, what becomes the most important thing is actually the only thing — really the only thing that matters — and that’s who cares if you get up in the morning out of bed? Who is worried about you? Who are you sharing your own stories with?

Love: The Last Chapter will premiere on the opening night of the Calgary Underground Film Festival’s documentary fest, which runs from Nov. 24 to 28.

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