Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Short film captures loneliness research

Kia

“We’re not invisible, we’re not senile” - short film captures loneliness research


University of Auckland research into loneliness and social isolation among older New Zealanders has helped create an animated short film running in the Show Me Shorts film festival.

Elder Birdsong – one of only eight New Zealand films selected – gives voice to original research led by Professor Merryn Gott from the University’s School of Nursing, carried out as part of a National Science Challenge grant.

The filmmakers, Associate Professors Shuchi Kothari and Sarina Pearson in the University’s Faculty of Arts, based the short film on research interviews by Professor Gott’s team with culturally diverse older people about their experience of loneliness and social isolation.

They had the idea of representing people with birds: an older Korean couple are godwits, a Pāhekā woman is an owl, and the tui is a Māori kuia played by actor Rima Te Wiata.

Ms Te Wiata describes the film as gentle storytelling. “There is a magical element that's very engaging. Gentle, animated, elderly creatures confiding the difficulties they experience appeals to the child in us all, and opens hearts.”

Professor Gott says they wanted to present the poignancy, sadness and isolation that can come with ageing with a little humour. They also wanted to highlight systemic problems.

“A lot of the issues the people we interviewed were experiencing were structural, not personal: issues of transportation, community space, living distant from their families. People of all ages need agency in their lives,” she says.

Sings the owl:

“It’s truly tough getting older, nothing is like it used to be, my husband is dead, my friends are all gone, my kids all live overseas…trust me I don’t need your pity… I like my independence…time keeps marching on and on, so I don’t regret what I lack…we’re not invisible, we’re not senile, all we’d like is a visit once in a while…”

Professor Gott says we all need to be more aware of the high prevalence of loneliness and social isolation among older people in New Zealand. “I believe the film will really help soften hearts, rather than place an accusatory responsibility on viewers. We hope it will encourage discussion about the responsibility we all have to promote social connection within our communities.”

The film also demonstrates how research results can be extended beyond academic audiences, and how faculties within the university can collaborate to produce innovative research outcomes, she adds.

Elder Birdsong will be released for use by schools, healthcare professionals and organisations such as Age Concern – a partner in the original research – to use as a teaching tool and to raise awareness nationally about loneliness, isolation and connection among older adults. It will also be entered in film festivals internationally.

http://www.showmeshorts.co.nz/programme/unconventional-families/


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Compensating Afghan Civilian Casualties

Reportedly, there have been nine incidents resulting in 17 civilian deaths and injuries (seven of the dead were children) caused by ordnance left behind on what used to be the firing range of our Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamiyan province.

Given that the NZ Defence Force has needed to be hauled kicking and screaming into belatedly arranging an adequate clean-up of its old firing range… what would it take before New Zealand offers to pay compensation to the families of those who suffered death and injury from what was left behind on our watch? More>>

 

Fossil Fuel Investment: ACC Must Lead On Climate Change

As the largest publicly owned investor in New Zealand, the ACC board should divest from fossil fuels, demonstrating our leadership role on climate change, Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick said today. More>>

ALSO:

Total Officers, Up Less: Coalition's 1800 New Police Officers

The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. More>>

ALSO:

Predator Free: $3.5m For New Pest Controls

New Zealand First is proud to announce the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has allocated $3.5 million to develop innovative predator control approaches which will reduce the need for repeated 1080 use. More>>

ALSO:

Children's Day: Commissioner Calls For Govt Commitment

“Three decades on, we are able to celebrate some significant changes for children like the recent launch of a Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. But we still have a long way to go to prioritise children’s rights.” More>>

ALSO:

Elections: Proposed Electorate Boundaries Released

The Representation Commission is proposing changes to half of New Zealand’s electorates and establishing a new electorate in south Auckland… More>>

ALSO:

"Effectively A Permanent Amnesty": Final Month For Gun Ban Compensation

The firearms buy-back comes to an end a month from today, but the police say the amnesty for returning banned guns will continue into next year and beyond. More>>

ALSO:


SPECIAL GUNS FOR FOREIGN SECURITY:


MORE ARMED POLICE:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels