Monday, April 29, 2013

A Different Life After Being Governor


There are people in the world that would never give someone a break or a second chance. That demand documentaries answer the questions THEY want answered. That believe they have a certain right to those in the public eye because those people 'chose' to make themselves public. 

That's what I found after watching the HBO documentary Fall to Grace about Jim McGreevey and then reading reviews and articles about it. Writers and reviewers wanted the story to continue where he left off when he walked away from office. They felt his memoir, going on Oprah and all that 'coming clean' wasn't enough. They needed the why/where/who answered.

That didn't seem to be what filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi was in search of when she decided to follow him around.

Yes, one can criticize that there seems to be much hugging of the women in prison that McGreevey is spending his days counseling. And that he appears to still be campaigning when walking the streets of Newark and people come up to him. But that could also just be part of having been in the public eye for so long - people are going to approach you on the street.

My take away from the documentary: I saw a very caring man that seems to truly believe in what he is doing. Debate all you want that he should have come out of the closet sooner - but this man was torn for years between what his religion taught him and who he really was. Do I hate that men in the closet ruin the lives of their wives? Absolutely. But that's not what this documentary is about.

It is about someone changing course midway through life. And actually - it hardly deals with him being gay. That's but one aspect of his life now. He is a father and he is partnered and he and his husband go about as everyone else. But like I've blogged before about 'regular' every day people making career changes later in life...this is a prime example of it. Out of the political eye. Trying to let go of that ego that made him seek attention and fame. I saw a loving man that cares for these people in the prison system that he believes are left alone. He identifies with them and he leans on something else that has always been very important to him: his faith. We see in the tabloids that he wants to be a priest and his turned down by the Episcopal Church. But from this documentary, you see a man who is living the life he feels he was called to live and I can't fault that. 

It takes a special person willing to give of their time to others. This was a man all about "me" and I saw a man about "them". I'm really glad I watched it and saw this other side to my former governor.

And I don't need answers about his personal life. I was simply happy to see he has found a way to switch courses later in life and it seems to bring him peace. 

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