Perhaps one of the most common arguments against getting a tattoo is to say that it’s an irreversible decision—you might look back and wish you hadn’t gotten your girlfriend’s name permanently inked on your bicep at age 19, for example. Also, how will it look when you’re 70? A new documentary by the filmmaker Angie Bird challenges these ideas by interviewing older people and asking them about the meaning and memories behind their tattoos. “There are events in my life that basically drove me to commemorate those occasions,” says Rick Gadde, who got his first tattoo at the age of 17. “The loss of a dear friend and also, sending an abuser of my brothers and I to jail.”
Bird is represented by the production company Skin and Bones, and is currently working on short doc about the benefits of medical marijuana for cancer patients.