Delivered as a part of Compass, The 100+ Club is a unique insight into a rare group of people. A group that have had the experience of two World Wars on their lives, the invention of television and computing, and the ability for women to vote of their own volition. How have they made it to their century and to what to they attribute their longevity? From the press release:
If you ever wanted to know the secret to clocking up 100 years, The 100+ Club will be compulsory viewing when it screens on ABC1 on Sunday, 1 July at 6.30pm.
Produced by Brisbane filmmakers, Flickchicks, this half hour documentary is a fascinating peek behind the doors of one of the world’s most exclusive clubs.
The 100+ Club has some remarkable members on its books, including: the late Queen Mother, Rupert Murdoch’s mum, and an Englishwoman who tweets with pop star Peter Andre.
Few are more inspiring than the film’s three central characters: Ruth Frith, 101, of Algester, Olive Webber, 103, of Cleveland, and Roma’s Dexter Kruger the cast’s ‘spring chicken’ at 100 years of age.
At a time in life when, for most, chasing a dream is a distant if not long forgotten memory, Ruth, Olive and Dexter are in hot pursuit of some literally breath-taking ambitions.
As the world’s oldest competing athlete, Ruth heads off to Perth to compete at the Australian Masters Athletics Championships, in a bid to break her own world records across five field events (the javelin, shot put, discus, heavy weight, and hammer throw).
Songstress and actress Olive began singing lessons at 89 but at 103 can still hit the high notes, and following a bout of bowel cancer, is doggedly pursuing her goal of performing under lights one last time.
And finally, having cranked out four books on Queensland’s ‘wild west’, outback cattleman Dexter Kruger is in a race against time to complete what is sure to be his final tome, regardless of the fact he can’t see the end of his pen.
The 100+ Club’s director, Mandy Lake, who came across the 100+ Club in a newspaper article, said capturing this trio of go-getters was not only a privilege, it was surprisingly challenging.
“Stalking centenarians is not as easy you’d think!” Mandy said.
“They can move, and they wait for no one.
“We had to be constantly mindful of not tiring out our ‘talent’ – multiple takes were not an option and shoots had to follow a strict routine, including a two hour nanna nap every afternoon,” she said.
The age of their subjects also weighed heavily on the crew with fears the centenarians would not last the distance or live to see the finished product broadcast on television.
“Fortunately all of our characters are still with us, although Dexter remarked we took a year off his life for every day we filmed him, we trust he is joking!” Mandy said.
She believes the most inspiring aspect of the film, the star’s stamina aside, is the fact that each of its key characters chose to undertake their pursuits very, very late in life.
“Dexter began writing at 89 when his wife died, Ruth took up athletics at 74 to avoid being the ‘bag lady’ at her daughter’s sports events, and Olive took up singing lessons at 89 because she thought she could ‘just do better’, ” Mandy said.
Her hope is this ‘never-say-die’ approach to living will stimulate debate about how Australian society treats and in many cases dismisses its older citizens.
“Having come to know and love these extraordinary Australians, it’s hard to believe as Ruth observes in the film that ‘no one wants to talk to an old person’.
“I rather suspect that after seeing The 100+ Club viewers will be left with little doubt as to how our characters made it into one of the world’s most exclusive groups,” she said.
The film’s trailer can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/flickchicks