The Return of Paul Jarrett | Chicago Reader

The Return of Paul Jarrett

Clark Jarrett's proud but prosaic tribute to his grandfather Paul, a veteran of World War I, stitches together archival photos, vintage news clips, and interviews with Paul's nonagenarian army buddies as it follows the son of a Nebraska cattle rancher into a momentous period in world history. Clark's narration suffers from an aw-shucks naivete, especially in his historical outlook, but this 1999 film perks up when he and the still-vigorous Paul go looking for old trenches and bunkers in the Alsation woods in 1988; the old man's expression is stoic but gives way to bliss when villagers near the battlefield turn out to greet them and thank him for his valor. In the epilogue, shot ten years later, Paul is awarded France's Legion of Honor at age 102, two days before his death. 48 min.

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