Baba Yaga’s House
(David Gutnick / CB)
Thérèse Clerc has a moon face, bright eyes and 14 grandchildren. She makes a mean veal stew. And at 85, she’s one of the most stubborn feminists in all of France. After spending decades fighting for the right to run her own life, she’s determined to hold onto it.
When Thérèse was in her mid-60s, she started to think hard about getting old, about how and where she wanted to live, and with whom. She visited state-run seniors’ residences, poked around cafeterias and chatted with women in their rooms.
What she found enraged her. No one was going to tell her what to eat and when to turn the television off. Thérèse spoke to her friends, and a tightly knit group of aging feminists had suddenly found a new cause.
The women began lobbying French politicians to fund an experiment: a women’s-only seniors’ home that the women would run themselves.
Well … it took thirteen years. But this week their dream will become reality.
Nineteen women in their sixties, seventies and eighties are beginning to move into a newly-constructed six story home – in the Paris suburb of Montreuil .
Baba Yaga’s House was produced by David Gutnick.