ALL THE LONELY PEOPLE
A couple realizes that the deep loneliness and isolation they feel threatens their relationship
so they begin learning how others are overcoming it. After outing themselves as lonely, they discover that they are unwittingly part of a growing epidemic of loneliness around the world that scientists and governments are quietly trying to beat before millions die a premature death from it.
An asylum seeker with a newborn child,
A young doctor who makes house calls in public housing
woman aging with HIV,
A government official,
A couple working so hard on their small business that they have no time for friends (more
than half of couples report feeling lonely).
What do they have in common? They are part of a life-threatening epidemic that 49 million people in the US are suffering from: feeling lonely most of the time.
The health consequences of chronic loneliness are now conclusively proven to be as bad as smoking.
Why are so many of us seeing our lives cut short because we’ve gotten so lonely? The filmmakers find that it’s easy to blame technology; but as they examine their own isolation, they begin discovering a map of causes that began hundreds of years ago. It includes The Industrial Revolution, genetics and working at home. People who find ways out of profound loneliness point the filmmakers (and the rest of us) down the road out.
In Zimbabwe, they sit with grandmothers who volunteer to talk to lonely people on the streets.
In South Carolina, they stay in “co-communities” where neighbors of all ages cook and care for each other.
In Scotland, they follow an immigrant mother who breaks her profound loneliness even as she seeks
asylum with their new child. (cont.)
And in the United Kingdom, they walk with the government’s new Minister of Loneliness as she struggles to end an epidemic now threatening a national healthcare system.
Spoiler alert: she gets lonely.