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Growing Season  cover photo

Growing Season 2017

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Tugg, Inc., 855-321-8844
Produced by Evan Briggs, Stephanie Wang-Breal and Carrie Weprin
Directed by Evan Briggs
DVD, color, 88 min.

High School - General Adult
Aging, Child Care, Elder Care, Intergenerational Communities

Date Entered: 12/11/2018

Reviewed by Barbara J. Walter, Longmont Public Library, Longmont, CO

We live in a culture, time, and place where creative people have to use creative means to accomplish something that was always the most ordinary, customary thing in the human experience: older people and younger people sharing their lives.
---Bill Thomas, quoted in “The Intergenerational Learning Center: How a Preschool Inside a Nursing Home Helps Children and the Elderly” –, January 2016

Director/producer Evan Briggs’ first feature-length film explores one nursing facility’s creative approach to alleviating the isolation and boredom that so frequently characterize residents’ lives. In Growing Season (formerly Present Perfect) Briggs takes a “fly on the wall” approach, recording events over the course of a school year at The Intergenerational Learning Center located within Providence Mount Saint Vincent in West Seattle. The ILC provides child care and preschool five days a week for up to 125 children ages 3 months to 6 years; it shares space with a nursing facility housing 400 residents whose average age is 92.

Without a narrator’s voice-over to interpret the events, Briggs simply observes the day-to-day interaction between residents and preschoolers: there are shared storytelling and read-aloud sessions, music and dance sessions, art projects and service projects, daily meals and holiday celebrations, as well as spontaneous encounters woven into life at “The Mount.” What emerges from these candid observations is a strong sense that when the very young and the very old share their daily lives, everyone benefits.

Strong in all technical aspects, Growing Season is a perfect choice for public libraries and high school media centers, as well as academic libraries supporting programs in the social sciences, early childhood education, gerontology and geriatrics. According to the film’s official website, a discussion and resource guide is in the works. In English, with English subtitles where dialog is indistinct.