The film tells the story of old and lonely people, who at the end of their lives decided to fight against their despair and hopelessness through dance and friendship.
“One…two…three, one…two…three, one…two…three.” Armenia’s only elderly dance troupe is practicing for their latest performance. But they are not just learning the steps to a new dance; they are learning that you are never too old to turn your life around. Mikhail (80) collects garbage from streets yet dances… Mariam (58) is just out of mental hospital yet dances… Anahit (64) puts flowers on the graves of her lost eight kids yet dances. They are all ‘The Chosen Ones’,
a group of fifteen elderly and lonely people who dance to overcome their hardships and find a sense of meaning and joy in their lives once more.
This film appears to be about a group of lonely people at the end of their lives, plagued by personal tragedies. Their situations look bleak, with meager pensions that allow each one to buy one loaf of bread per day, with no family to turn to for help. This film is about the possibility that at any moment in life, no matter how dark, there is always a chance to turn it all around. Through their performances and new companionship, each one of The Chosen One’s dance troupe members is trying to move forward with newfound hopes of love, wonder and possibilities for the future. Each performance could be their last. Will they let difficult circumstances stop their lives for good, or will they fight for one last piece of happiness?
This film has the potential for its depiction of loneliness among the older population and methods of addressing it and overcoming it to have an impact among its audiences. Loneliness among the elderly is a big problem in Armenia, a society very strongly based on family in older people without family find themselves cut off from their communities. We aim for screenings of One Two Three to inspire and empower the younger Armenian population to care for their elderly neighbors and to create similar projects to connect the older population once again with their community.
At any moment in life, no matter what hardships one has faced, there is always a chance to turn it all around, as the dancers have discovered. Each performance of ‘The Chosen Ones’ may be the last one, yet they never lose their ambition to be the first and the best. As they can still dream and wonder...
Birth and death are the two experiences that we all share as humans. Birth is joyful and always celebrated in society. The other experience we all share, death, is neglected and hidden. This is part of our condition: we do not like to come face to face with our own end, especially if it appears lonely and unhappy. In Armenia, like many other places around the world, society offers no place for the older generation. There is a common notion among young people that the problems of seniors differ from theirs, but is that really true? With this film, I want to challenge the boundaries and prejudices that disconnect the elderly from society as a whole and from their personal dreams. Behind their clumsy moves and smiles are personal dramas and lives that have been filled with struggle and loneliness. Despite their personal pain, this group of elderly dancers has come together to prove that they still have a place and a purpose in our communities. The courage of the elderly who dare to challenge the banality and loneliness of what is inevitable for us all is inspiring. This group proves with each performance that even a life spent in hardship is worth living until the last minute. They prove that it is never too late to fall in love and make plans for the future. Through dance each one helps the other, and their audiences, believe in a hope and optimism that transcends age, belief, culture and language through emotions. With them we can celebrate life and challenge ourselves to begin again every day. This film is about the victories achievable at any age and that it is never too late to reach for the happiness that we all seek.
This film is about more than just a bunch of elderly people spending their spare time dancing: it is about positive souls trying to overcome their major health problems and personal dramas. They might be amateur dancers, but they gather to perform on different stages and, in doing so, conquer people’s hearts. This film proves that it’s never late to win!
Won the Golden Apricot award for the best documentary film in the Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival 2015 Participated in the Films from South Film Festival in Norway, 2015
The project has been pitched in Asian Network Documentary program in the frames of the Busan International Film Festival, Korea (October, 2011). It raised high interest from Korean Educational Broadcasting System (EBS) and WDR (Germany). Together with Detail Film - German co-production partner the project was pitched in the frames of GoEast film festival in April, 2012 and won the Robert Bosch Stiftung Co-Production Prize. Than the project was developed at DocStories Black Sea and CAUCADOC workshops, it has received Festival International des Programmes Audiovisuels Prix CFI and participated in Docs in Thessaloniki workshop and DOC Leipzig co-production meetings. In 2013 the film received Sorfund co-production grant from Norway South Film Fund and co-producer Frode Sobstad joined the team. The project also received small grant for production from Armenian Government through Documentary Film Studio Hayk.