The Art of Downsizing

Three unforgettable seniors who set out to downsize their homes must learn to let go before they can move on.
Available on CBC Gem

The Art of Downsizing

CBC Docs POV

As we grow older, we all need to learn how to move on, leaving our former lives and possessions behind. But how? The Art of Downsizing highlights the excruciating decisions involved in navigating the rocky terrain of downsizing, one of the least talked-about yet most significant transitions any of us will ever make.

Timely and engaging, this documentary dives deep into the challenges of what it means to pack up a lifetime of belongings when you’re grappling with a future that is destined to fall out of your control.

Skillfully captured by award-winning filmmaker Geeta Sondhi, we follow three unforgettable characters at this difficult crossroad.

Barb is 79, and on the cusp of moving on from the large suburban home she entertained, raised children and lost her husband in.

Bill, 62, is digging himself out from under an avalanche of generations of inherited belongings from his wife’s family. The thought of letting go of the precious heirlooms he has inherited from the love of his life weighs heavily on his heart and soul. And then there’s the quintessential matriarch, Kathleen, who struts into her 90th birthday party like Beyonce, under her family’s adoring gaze.

The symbols of achievements and mementos collected over a lifetime of hard work, struggle, loss and pain, come under the scrutinizing lens of real estate agents, organizing companies, antique assessors, and family members. Moments of extreme vulnerability rub up against unexpected feats of courage in the struggle to say goodbye to the final proof of times gone by.

The Art of Downsizing is about the ties that bind and the love of life, of friends and of family. It’s a celebration of those pioneering souls who take the risk of trading in the emblems of their past for a fresh start and the preservation of their independence as far into the future as they can see.

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