Saturday, October 02, 2010

Movie of
the Month:
Part 21

I recently
the follow-
ing film
for Video Librarian, and thought the results were worth sharing.

THE WAY WE GET BY [***1/2]
(Aron Gaudet, US, 2009, 84 mins.)

It may not have the name recognition of Chicago's O'Hare or
New York's JFK, but Maine's Bangor International Airport re-
ceives pride of place in Aron Gaudet's film, since troops leav-
ing for and returning from Iran and Afghanistan often pass
through its doors (the documentary aired as part of P.O.V.).

Since 2003, 87-year-old Navy veteran Bill Knight has made it his
life's work to thank over 900,000 men and women for their ser-
vice. "Our troops need our support," he explains. His companions
include 74-year-old Jerry Mundy, an ex-Marine who lost his only
son to illness, and the filmmaker's mother, 75-year-old Joan Gau-
det, whose family counts three military members, including her
late husband who fought in the Korean War (Aron's wife, pro-
ducer Gita Pullapilly, helped to conduct the interviews).

Gaudet films the greeters, all of whom have health problems, at
the airport and at home. Knight shares his alarmingly messy
farmhouse with a dog and countless cats (Mundy and Gaudet
claim canine companions, as well). During filming, he finds out
he has prostate cancer, but opts to keep greeting while he can.

In the meantime, he moves into a trailer while preparing to sell
his house and pay down his credit card debt. Knight also plans to
place his cats with a shelter, since he can no longer afford to feed
them. Though Joan would like to see the war come to an end, she
admits that she'd be lost if she didn't get to shake hands with the
troops each week, no matter how early the call. Her son deserves
credit for avoiding pathos, pity, and divisive politics in this exam-
ination of dedication and mortality. A strong recommendation.

Click here for Movie of the Month, Part 20: My Year Without Sex

Endnote: Slightly revised from the original text. I didn't pick
a DVD for September, but if I had, it would've been Sweet-
hearts of the Prison Rodeo
(click here for my Siffblog review),
which plays the NWFF 1o/8-10. Image from Living in Cinema.

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