Dial-a-Ride

By George Cowie and Tom Huntingford | Documentary
A community bus in South Wales captures all the joys, challenges and quirks of growing old.

A community bus service runs through rural South Wales, ferrying its users to places they otherwise can’t get to by themselves. Along the way, the riders find a sense of belonging and connection as the bus rides becomes a true community.

This short documentary is essentially a window on what’s it like to grow old, captured through a series of candid moments and reflections. Nearly half of people over the age of 75 live alone, and many of them have no means of transportation. Many of them rely on important programs like Dial-a-Ride, which not only take older people where they need, but provide a sense of community and feeling of still feeling like part of the world.

The film does a great job of this, celebrating old age by capturing its joy, challenges and sense of fun. The editing and structure of the storytelling focus on the people and community that develops, creating a patchwork of moments that are both poignant and heartwarming. With fluid, immediate camerawork and finely tuned editing, viewers get a sense of this small “world-within-a-world” — and are left with an enlarged sense of the possibilities that age can bring.

Sweet, vibrant and full of joie de vivre, “Dial-a-Ride” truly earns the warm, positive feelings that viewers are left with after having spent time with this wonderful group of seniors. Though it highlights the importance, vitality and necessity of services like Dial-a-Ride and advocates for their existence and expansion, the film challenges the idea that life gets smaller and duller as one gets older, instead painting a rich picture that we can find happiness wherever we are, no matter or age or circumstances.




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