The idea of a 20-year-old accompanying 90-year-olds to a D-Day commemoration — when they were 20 themselves — isn’t bad. There are many opportunities to explore similarities and differences between generations, a chance to bridge what may at first glance appear to be vast chasms of perception and life experience. That’s the challenge Charlotte Juergens set herself with this first-person documentary made to pay homage to her grandfather, Pat, and his fellow vets. She bonds with several of the men on the trip, all of whom come to regard Charlotte as their own relative, replacing their own deceased loved ones and replacing Charlotte’s grandfather, who died and could not be with them during this travel.
The bond between the filmmaker and her subjects is palpable and her intentions are unassailable. Unfortunately, what Juergens presents on screen is more like a loose album or vlog than a movie. There’s a lot of camera shake, Dear Diary-like narration, and repeated, inexplicable shots of her own feet as she walks. I’m sure anyone connected to Juergens or any of the vets included will be touched by his heartfelt tribute, but most others would have learned more from a magazine article or podcast on the same topic. 91 mins.
Limited theatrical release