The Way We Get By (2009) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

Current documentary filmmakers have a lot to learn from Aron Gaudet’s style. Instead of preaching and shoving a view point down its viewers’ throats, ‘The Way We Get By’ simply documents the story lines of several senior citizen troop greeters. This allows for a deep and compelling story to unfold before the audience, allowing them to get out of it what they will.

These senior citizen don’t sit around at the old folks home twiddling their thumbs. They are at the airport at all hours, whenever needed to extend an open hand or give a welcoming hug. These are the kind of old folk with real wisdom. It’s interesting that they have lived through the war of life (some through real wars as well), and yet find the time to support people who are coming back from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is a film about life and looking back from the end to the present. There are connections to be made between every life lived.

The lives of these troop greeters is paved with difficulty. Deaths are abundant, and yet there is so much vibrance in every step they take. This movie isn’t just about the lives of the troops that they touch, its about how reaching out to people can change your life. And in how finding someone to reach out to can bring meaning to a lonely life.

Much is said about what the troops and their families are going through by connecting what is happening in the lives of the greeters. With all the distractions in our world it is easy to forget that there are people out there that need us. Even if all we do is greet them.

Director: Aron Gaudet
Stars: Bill Knight, Jerry Mundy, Joan Gaudet

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