Torching the Dusties


“It’s our turn.”

Protestors have appeared outside the gates of Ambrosia Manor. From behind strange baby-faced masks, they issue a chillingly simple demand: it’s time for the residents of this posh retirement home to give up their space on earth. Trapped inside as the situation worsens, Frank and Wilma struggle to respond. Despite Frank’s failing vision the two must hatch a plan to escape before Ambrosia Manor goes up in flames.

Based on the short story of the same name by Margaret Atwood, “Torching the Dusties” dramatizes issues arising from ageism, age-related macular degeneration, and Charles Bonnet Syndrome. Starring Eric Peterson and Clair Coulter, the film marks the second collaboration by writing and directing team Marlene Goldman and Philip McKee.

“Torching the Dusties” was produced in partnership with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and York University’s Centre for Research on Vision. The film remains accessible to people with vision loss through the use of audio-description, and specialized screenings are available for clinicians and caregivers. Through immersive camerawork and well-drawn central characters, the project aims to lessen stigma, increase patient engagement, and raise awareness of issues surrounding age-related vision loss and Charles Bonnet Syndrome.