The Honeys and the Bears
Follow the five steps below to get the most out of your UnLonely Film Festival experience!
Step 1: Watch the film.
Members of the Harlem Honeys and Bears, a synchronized swim team for seniors, describe the freedom of the water and the creative wonders of staying vital dancing afloat together. The community, sensory expressiveness and pure fun of swimming together keep loneliness and isolation and other of the challenges that sometimes come with old age, at bay.
About the FIlmmaker
Veena Rao is a filmmaker “interested in revealing the extraordinary in the everyday.” She loves film “because it allows us to dream and empathize with each other.” Her films have screened internationally, been featured on The New York Times Op-Docs, The Atlantic, National Geographic, Vimeo’s Staff Picks, and have also been supported by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). She’s an alumna of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a member of Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective and New York Women in Film & Television.
What do you hope UnLonely Film Festival audiences, trying to make sense of loneliness and isolation and navigate a path forward, take from your film?
“I would hope viewers take away that joy can be found in activities one loves to do, with friends/peers who are part of the same team.”
Step 2: Explore these things after watching the film.
- Is there something that you have done that makes you feel a sense of ‘freedom’ and/or comes to you like second nature? Why do you think this activity makes you feel this way? How can you make it a more regular part of your routine?
- One of the women talked about how with age she has been able to come to grips with a lot of things she worried about when she was younger. Is that true for you as well? What are the things that used to worry you but no longer do?
- What was the last team or club that you belonged to? What were the best parts of being on a team/club? Given your current circumstances, is there a group of some kind that you would like to join?
- Make a quick sketch—in pencil or ink—of the things in your life that ‘get you up and out in the morning.’ Tape this sketch to your nightstand or keep it next to your bed as a daily reminder.
- Don’t have a team or club, but would like one? Start one yourself by deciding what you’d like to do and making signs to recruit members. Include a bold visual element that communicates what activity the group would be involved in—along with some descriptions of what you hope the team/club will become. It could be a book club, a gardening club, a movie club, or anything you enjoy. Make copies and post in local places like gyms, coffee shops, libraries, etc. Or scan the poster and post on Facebook or other social networking sites.
- Make your own synchronized swim team out of paper dolls. The paper doll chain can inspire you and remind you of the camaraderie that comes with joining a group of some kind. Don’t remember how to make paper dolls? Follow this quick tutorial on how to make your own string of team members.
Our Try This page has even more creative expression inspiration!
Step 3: Join in the conversation about the film.
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