Documentary Short Film Review “How We Are Now”

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First, the Recap:

The human connection. We experience it day in and day out via our interactions with friends, family, co-workers, the cashier at the grocery or any other myriad of situations where contact with another person is part of the equation. The dynamics of friendship in particular is one that can have life-long impact on our lives, especially when we’ve bonded to others in a deeply rooted way. Nothing seems to be a true testament to that bond than growing older and maintaining that closeness and companionship, more than ever realizing the strength of it. Take former actor Peter Kerr (himself) and his partner of 60 years, Douglas Adams (himself). While the days of youth held their attitudes and actions at one time, now, both in their eighties, reflection and challenge arrives.

For Peter, it has become the role of caretaker for Douglas, who is approaching his eighty-third birthday, and the two men have the daily routine that has only become more and more mundane, perhaps, even as they both strive to make each day as happy and treasured as possible. It is conversations about former days mixed in with what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, questions posed to assure all the proper medications have been taken, even the simple notion of getting out of bed each morning is subject to scrutiny. Whether it’s in-home doctor visits for each, a run to the local market (an “escape” outdoors for Peter), sitting in the kitchen rambling about whatever, to the planned celebration of Douglas’ birthday–it’s ultimately about aging, its realities, and its inevitable future.

Next, my Mind:

With this touchingly poignant yet potently sobering 33-minute documentary short film, writer/director Andrea Niada takes us through a bold journey about both the joys and perils of one of the most resisted aspects of our earthly lives–aging. Presented with a sense of appropriately dramatic tone, but mainly infused with the authenticity of genuine, grounded, and heartfelt sentiment about a six decades long bond and everything it has entailed, the film deftly circumnavigates the base level of Kerr and Adam’s relationship, rather allowing the two men to simply share about the complexities of old age, what it means to them, how it has affected their love for each other, and how the role of one taking care of the other now impacts the situation.

Both Kerr and Adams are a true, real, and totally engaging pair to watch and listen to, as even the little things that still annoy each come out, yet showcase the actuality of what they’ve both mutually felt and experienced throughout the years together. It’s whimsical and endearing, but undeniably tinged with sadness as well. One can only realize the hard truths about where they find themselves in life now as the reminiscing spans the decades past and present while still doing everything they can do to illustrate that even despite the ramifications old age brings both physically and mentally, there’s still so much room to appreciate each other, love each other thanks to a well-earned friendship, and revel in this thing they call existence.

In total, “How We Are Now” paints a wonderful overall tapestry of what it is to BE alive, grow old, and still have the fortitude and, maybe, stubbornness to face destiny while knowing and realizing all of those around them who’ve been there and helped them along the way.  The time we have on this planet may be finite, but watching this film clearly shows we can be thankful for what we’ve been blessed with, recognize the value these things have brought us, hang on to amazing memories, an know it is indeed life–life well lived.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!

Review on onefilmfan.com

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