Since the start of the Iraq War, the voluntary troop greeters at Bangor International Airport in Maine, the main departure and arrival point for the troops, have welcomed home more than 800,000 soldiers. What compels this cuddly and predominantly white-haired group to go to the airport every day to give out hugs and handshakes is revealed in The Way We Get By, a touching new SXSW Jury Award–winning documentary by Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, screening tonight at Rooftop Films. Focusing on three senior citizens—Joan, a grandmother who must confront the fact that her own granddaughter is getting deployed; Jerry, who, even after the loss of a close friend, stays optimistic; and Bill, a veteran who is battling cancer and debt—the documentary blossoms into a deeper story about their lives and fears and what it means to grow old in America. A Q&A with the filmmaker follows the screening.
Fri., July 10, 8 p.m., 2009