After 64-years of living life quietly, retired school teacher Joy France is on a mission to be heard. After finding her voice in the form of spoken-word poetry, Joy attempts to take her new found passion to another level.

Can she break gender and age stereotypes by competing in the brutal, youthful, male-dominated world of battle rap? Or is she too notoriously O.L.D? 

A story of one woman's daring attempt to embrace life.


Joy’s life has been one of 2 halves. She was a quiet, unassuming teacher, always worrying about what others thought. That is, until her mid-50's when she finally found her voice and the courage to embrace life.

Joy challenged herself to do 60 new things at the age of 60 and had so much fun that she's continued to “grow old playfully.”

Joy is an all round creative - a multiple slam-winning poet, stand-up comedian, and writer who travels around delivering talks, running workshops and performing at a variety of festivals and unusual venues.

There is nothing Joy loves more than helping others find THEIR voice and embrace their potential.

Photography by Rick Charles

Director's statement

"I first met Joy at Afflecks Palace in Manchester at a free to use creative space that she was running. Right away I was moved by her and found her so utterly compelling. We really connected on a creative and emotional level. 

I was shocked when Joy told me she was planning on competing in a battle rap. After hearing her reasons, I really wanted to go on the journey with Joy and be able to explore the story in a way that was authentic to Joy's journey. I didn't want it to just be a story about rap, because it isn't. It's actually a story about age and finding the courage to be yourself - that's what makes it so relatable to so many people.

I'd never been to a rap battle event before making this film. The battle rap community was not what I expected at all. They have been so friendly and have welcomed Joy and I into the community with open arms.

Joy's attitude towards life has inspired me so much. She's been a real 'Joy' to hang out with and has taken me to some very interesting places! 

I hope audiences enjoy the film and can take some inspiration from it. Joy's story is one that's moving, empowering and brave. We can learn a lot from our elders. She's certainly braver than me!"

Natasha Hawthornthwaite (Joy Uncensored, Director)