Duty Free
Film On Demand

Duty Free

July 1–31

This event occurred as part of the 21/22 Hop Film season. This is an archived view.

A journalist and his 75-year-old mother's sometimes joyful, sometimes profound exploration of ageism, parenting and bucket lists.

21/22 Hop Film

Duty Free Film Trailer 2021

Rebecca Danigelis was a 75-year-old housekeeping supervisor at a luxury hotel when she was fired. She had $600 in savings and had cashed in her 401K to send her younger son, Sian-Pierre Regis, to college. She feels "diminished" without a job, we see her tearfully and bitterly tell her son. Regis, then a 32-year-old TV journalist, moves home and starts filming her story. What emerges is warm, personal, beautifully structured and socially relevant — a vivid portrait of its real-life heroine and the constant ageism she encounters. 

As Rebecca struggles to find new work to support herself, her son decides to repay her sacrifices by taking her on a bucket list journey (milk a cow, take a hip-hop class, skydive). Over the next three years, we get to know Rebecca in singular detail, and what emerges is the exact opposite of what audiences may assume. Far from being a weepy tale of a stiff upper lip gone all aquiver, Duty Free is an inspiring and intimate portrayal of resilience in the face of adversity. Regis (who eventually funded the on-again, off-again production of the film via Kickstarter) captures a woman on the verge of … anything other than a nervous breakdown, mater triumphantes. D: Sian-Pierre Regis, US, 2021, 1h13m

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