© 2022 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
WKAR StayTuned Update

Duty Free | Independent Lens

A woman flies a red kite against the blue sky
Duty Free Film
Rebecca flies kite in Detroit on bucket list adventure.

Mon. Nov. 22 at 10 p.m. on WKAR-HD 23.1 & STREAMING | Fired from a lifelong job, a 75-year-old mom teams up with her son to reclaim her future through bucket list adventures.

An intimate exploration of ageism, care, and economic insecurity, Sian-Pierre Regis’s deeply personal documentary "Duty Free" captures the journey he embarks on to help his 75-year-old mother after she is fired from her lifelong job. At this point, Rebecca is left with no savings, no 401K safety net, and no employment prospects.

“Duty Free” introduces audiences to Rebecca at this moment of crisis and Sian-Pierre as he helps her navigate this time of transition. To lift her spirits, he encourages her to make a bucket list of all the things she could never do in her years of working, and he sets about making them happen.

The film traces their shared journey over the next few years through Sian-Pierre’s personal recordings of their conversations and adventures. While undertaking new experiences ranging from milking a cow to taking a hip-hop dance class, the pair also experience unexpected fame as their endeavors attract press attention from around the world.

As Rebecca’s journey gains public visibility, others in her age group reach out to her to share their own similar stories of losing their jobs and being plunged into uncertainty, and the accompanying frustration and fear. Her journey uncovers the economic insecurity faced by millions of Americans.

“In this country, we struggle to really recognize that older people have value. I hope that through my mom’s experiences and this film, more people will be able to have intergenerational conversations around aging and equality and look for ways to ensure our elders are truly seen, valued, and provided for.”

Watch each episode at video.wkar.org during or after the premiere date.

Independent Lens is America’s home for independent documentary film, airing Monday nights on PBS member stations and available to stream on the PBS Video App.

News from WKAR will never be behind a paywall. Ever. We need your help to keep our coverage free for everyone. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. You can support our journalism for as little as $5. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.