I am not a good swimmer, even though I went to summer camp for years to learn how to swim. What can I say, the camp counselors gave up on me. I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, but watching Unsyncable, screening at Hot Docs, has given me hope to try my hand at swimming again.
I have to say that Unsyncable, produced by Tell Tale Productions along with producers Edward Peill and Erin Oakes, is one of the best documentaries that I have seen from Hot Docs. Written and directed by Megan Wennberg, it tells the story of six senior artistic swimmers ranging in ages from 63-82. Artistic swimming is the new term for synchronized swimming. Many of the swimmers in this documentary have taken up swimming for health reasons, to get over the loss of a loved one, or to just belong to a group that wants to have fun while remaining active and healthy.
The cast in this documentary includes world champion synchro legend Sue Baross Nesbitt (68), Ellen Scott (63), and Chris Meier-Windes (68) of the San Francisco Tsunami LGBTQ+ team. Representing North America’s only all-Black artistic swimming team known as the Harlem Honeys and Bears is Luther Gales (82), a former marine, along with his teammates Monica Hale (68), Joyce Clarke (71). These beautiful seniors work hard to prepare for the U.S. Masters Artistic Swimming Championship. They do this despite their age and physical limitations.
Director Megan Wennberg believes that as we get older staying healthy and feeling connected by finding meaning in our lives is extremely important. In a society that is biased towards youth, Sue, Ellen, Cris, Monica, Luther and Joyce have shown us that getting older does not mean that we should slow down or give in to our limitations.
Megan believes that Unsyncable will inspire audiences to see aging in a new light-not as something to dread, but as something to aspire to as we all ‘rage against the dying of the light’ in our own unique ways.
I went through a lot the last 3 years: losing my husband during the Covid Shutdown, catching covid and covid pneumonia, and finally long covid. It has made me vulnerable, but this film has inspired me to keep on grooving in my own special way. I will soon be moving to a 55+ community, and they have a huge swimming pool. Do you think I can learn to swim, and maybe, just maybe, encourage the community to form our own artistic swimming team? I will post my journey in future blogs.
Unsyncable is set for World Premiere Hot Docs Canadian International Festival on May 3, at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and will later premiere on Vision TV and on May 5 at the Scotiabank Theatre, Cinema 5.