The Villages in Florida is a vibrant retirement community that offers seniors the chance to live out their golden years in an idyllic paradise. With over 150,000 residents, it is the largest retirement community in the United States and also America’s fastest growing metro area. It features everything from homes to swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, restaurants, bars, supermarkets and even a world-class hospital; making it a one-stop destination for retirees looking to have fun and relax.
Vice’s documentary “The Bubble” follows six retirees living in The Villages and examines what life is like living out their golden years within this exclusive community. It provides insight into how ageism, family dynamics, sociopolitical issues and basic human needs intersect within this thriving microcosm of Americana.
Originally starting as a trailer park with only a few residents back in the 70s, The Villages now offer its inhabitants plenty of activities to partake in including dancing, cardio drumming and Tai Chi classes; they even have their own newspaper and radio station! This “age-restricted” community provides residents with an opportunity to put themselves first after years of working hard without any distractions or ageist prejudices that many older people face elsewhere.
But on the flip side of things (literally) rapid development has taken over as The Villages continues expanding; many original residents are now selling up due to changes in landscape which were once pastures or bucolic countryside. What was once the picture perfect retirement paradise for many seniors is now showing signs of discord between county residents and those who inhabit The Villages. Many county residents are concerned about gated public roads, water consumption rates as well as regional control – all thanks to this sprawling retirement mecca nestled among them.
Mostly comprised of affluent white Republicans who are passionate Trump supporters and NRA members – “The Bubble” provides viewers with an insight into a unique world where ageism doesn’t exist but at its core still struggles with balancing freedom against reality. So if you’re wondering what life would be like spending your final days surrounded by retired peers living it large – watch Vice’s documentary “The Bubble” for the full story!