“The Bubble” is a new documentary about The Villages from writer/director Valerie Blankenbyl.
It comes hot on the heels of another movie about The Villages released a few months prior titled “Some Kind of Heaven“.
From the film’s description:
In the “Villages” (the world’s largest retirement community) there are not only supermarkets, but also bars and restaurants. From belly dancing to synchronized swimming, everything that a pensioner’s heart desires is offered. But what appears to be the fulfilment of the American dream at first glance, cracks upon closer inspection. After all, maintaining this bubble not only has a price for its inhabitants, but also for the world around them.
I shared the trailer for “The Bubble” in a previous article but here it is again in case you missed it:
I was able to watch “The Bubble” when it was part of the 2021 Sarasota Film Festival.
I really enjoyed it, and I think it’d be a great idea for anyone considering moving to The Villages to watch it.
I say that not because I think it will change your mind about living here (at least I don’t think it should), but because it will give you a more “well-rounded” understanding of the place you might be moving to.
Where “Some Kind of Heaven” fell short for a lot of viewers was the fact that it focused on a handful of characters that I think most people would struggle to call “typical Villagers”.
Instead of focusing so much on the lives of the characters in the film, “The Bubble” focuses more on the concept of The Villages, and the impacts it has on the people, the economy, and the environment both inside and outside the community.
Like “Some Kind of Heaven”, “The Bubble” is definitely not a commercial for The Villages, so if that’s all you’re interested in, you’ll be disappointed.
The filmmakers make a point several times throughout “The Bubble” to point out that they were not exactly welcomed with open arms by the developer.
A few of the problems the film sheds light on include political divisiveness, control of the developer, environmental concerns like excessive water use and sinkholes, as well as the seemingly endless growth the community is experiencing.
Most of these topics are not news to residents or people who have done even a little bit of research about the community.
But setting aside the topics the film tackles, I enjoyed “The Bubble” for the visuals. Maybe it’s just me, but I just think it’s really neat to see The Villages on the “big screen”.
I’m not sure when “The Bubble” will be available for everyone to watch, but I’ll be sure to keep you updated as I learn more about when it will be released.