Almost There

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Almost There

Directed by Jacqueline Zünd

  • Switzerland 2016; 83 min
  • Original version: English, Japanese
  • Genre: Documentary


It’s evening in an empty parking lot, and we see the motorhome in which a retired man will go on a long journey and leave his old life behind. He runs through a checklist of all the things that need to be done before he leaves his hometown. Although clearly a metaphor for taking stock as the end of life approaches, it is used with subtlety. ALMOST THERE is a portrait of three men searching for happiness and a meaningful existence in the autumn of their lives. The camera records them with patience and an eye for detail as they talk about the choices they made – they may not have been easy choices, but they brought many good things later in life. We see the American traveling across his country, a British drag queen doing a standup comedy routine in Benidorm, Spain, and a Japanese gentleman reading books to children – beaming with pride, he describes how a teacher paid him a compliment. It’s only now that he has come to understand how to get along with children.



    Thomas Thümena