Lucille and Irja are retired residents of Sunset Hall, a Los Angeles home for the elderly. Residents of Sunset Hall are retired radicals; they have retired from work but not from protesting... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Lucille Alpert ...
Irja Lloyd ...


Lucille and Irja are retired residents of Sunset Hall, a Los Angeles home for the elderly. Residents of Sunset Hall are retired radicals; they have retired from work but not from protesting against injustice. Bitter Lucille considers herself a realist. Wheelchair-bound Irja is sunny and optimistic. Lucille was raised a Jew but always aspired to assimilate. Irja wants to explore all sorts of new traditions. Through the lives of these women, Sunset Story shows the life at Sunset Hall: teachers, a dancer, an engineer, a social worker, and others, all living out their golden years in a unique environment. Written by Ken Miller <>

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8 May 2003 (USA)  »

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Unstructured and maybe lacking a point but the lives are engaging and interesting enough to be worth watching
26 November 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Formed in 1923, Sunset Hall in Los Angeles is a retirement home with a difference; all the residents are former political activists of one form of another and the residents are mostly quite active in local protests and still try to be active. We enter the home to meet Irja and Lucille, two elderly women who came to the home within two weeks of one another and hit it off pretty well. We look at their relationship over the years and the other residents in this most unusual retirement home.

I'm not sure why these two ladies were selected but they were a good choice for subjects to show what Sunset Hall is all about and who the residents are and were. The film is not that well structured but it does well to let us get to know these two people reasonably well and to the point where we do like them and care about them. I'm not sure what the film's point or agenda was but to me the film was about having respect for the elderly – it is too easy to assume that they are used up and finished and to ignore them in order to ignore our own mentality but this shows us they are just people. Of course, pretty much any home can do this and I did used to volunteer in a local old people's home when I was younger, spend time with anyone and you learn things – regardless of age. So it is just as well that the film also had the hook of being set in an unusual home – whether or not the home is that good an idea or not (seemed to me that arguments were only ever seconds away!) the people there do seem happy with it.

Irja and Lucille are both very warm people who is very easy to care for and you do get into their stories. The direction is unobtrusive but nothing fancy, mainly because it seemed happy to let the subjects speak for themselves. Overall this was a pretty good film for what it did well; show us real people and get involved in their lives to the point where we could learn something form them. The lack of structure is a bit of a problem since it doesn't appear to have a point to make but then Irja and Lucille make up for that by simply being themselves.

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