I wholeheartedly endorsed a film the other day. Here’s how it came to cross my path.
I am dear friends with the filmmaker. Of course, my endorsement suddenly opens me up to accusations of cronyism but trust me when I tell you, I know a lot of “artists”. I know writers up the wazoo, filmmakers, musicians and painters, and you almost never hear me publicly go to bat for them just because they are my friends.
Even if their work really, really rocks, I am still often quite reticent because I am not much of a fan of “the good ol’ boys club” of endorsing the work of people just because I know them.
So the documentary I would practically insist you see – especially if you are over the age of 40 – is an anomaly for me. I really didn’t think I’d be willing to so publicly go to bat for the thing but now that I have seen it I am on the bandwagon blaring with a megaphone.
Here’s the link. Trust me on this.
The filmmaker is a teacher. A Teacher of the Year award winner in fact, class of 2007, same as me. That is how I got to know him. TK (his name) is from Wisconsin – he once brought me a 3 pound block of cheese just to prove it – and he’s quite the remarkable guy. 6’5” former basketball player who now teaches 4th grade. Just seeing pics of him with the kids is enough to make you smile.
But he is beloved, he is phenomenally well-read and he’s got a heart as big as any hunk of cheese in his state.
He also learned that he closest brother had terminal cancer the same day that we met the President of the United States in the Oval Office of the White House together.
Just remarkable. And that set him off on a journey exploring how we die (in lieu of the way modern medicine can keep us almost unnaturally alive in this day and age).
And how we die gets the ball rolling on where we’d like to die. And that gets the ball rolling on how we are truly one of the first generations to be so disconnected from death.
I mean we view death as a failure, as if it’s a shortcoming of some sort instead of a natural part of life. And when you “consider the conversation” (that’s the title of the film, you can’t help but reflect on how you are actually living.
And what’s important to you. Like truly important. Family. Work. Community. Spirituality. Meaning.
I described the journey of watching this the other day as, “Be prepared to be terrified, illuminated, profoundly moved, confronted and warmly hugged all within 60 minutes. Just knocked me off my feet!”
Probably, just hearing the subject matter makes you want to say, “Nah, thanks.” But the piece is so tastefully done, so thoughtful in its manner and so insightful in its selection of people who appear throughout that I can promise it’s gonna break through the ice of even the most emotionally frozen of us.
As I said, here’s the link. Trust me on this. Way to go TK. Magical!