The Way We Get By, a documentary by Aron Gaudet on American troop greeters in Bangor Maine premiered last night on PBS's POV. Initially, I wasn't going to watch it--I try to limit my consumption of war-related media--but I was taken with the movie because it wasn't really about war afterall.
It's about a man and his dog. A woman and her family. A man and his farmhouse. And what these three share: Being old. Greeting the war-weary with warm thanks, coffee, cookies, smokes, and free cell phones to call home the minute they step foot onto US soil at the airport in Bangor. Love. Finding a purpose in life. Reasons to go on living.
I was smitten with Bill Knight, Jerry Mundy and Joan Gaudet (mother of the filmmaker); their lives extraordinary only in their commitment to something other than themselves, and beautiful in a way that the examined ordinary life can be.
Watch The Way We Get By online here (available until December 12, 2009).