The phrase 'The truth will set you free' comes vividly to life in "Fall to Grace," (8 tonight, HBO), a documentary exploring the ever-after of Jim McGreevey. That's the New Jersey governor who announced his resignation from office in 2004 because of a scandal, and then, with his wife at his side, declared himself 'a gay American.'
So what ever happened to him? After hitting rock bottom, McGreevey realized he was addicted to the power and perks of being an up-and-comer in Democratic circles. Now he lives a simpler life (although in a grand house), serving as a spiritual advisor to female inmates and studying to become an Episcopal priest.
We all learn at some point (if we're lucky) that lies are traps but seeing that wisdom through McGreevey's life is inspirational and powerful. He was good as a politician -- you can see that in the way former constituents warmly greet him -- but he's even better as an advisor. Caring, patient, persistent, it's clear the inmates love him and want to please him. And they can feel his love and care as well. He can speak to them because he's had his own redemption song to sing, and he can speak to them honestly because he's not pretending anymore.
The film is directed by Alexandra Pelosi, who has an easy, conversational style that fits the film, which is only about 45 minutes.
It's lovely to see in "Fall to Grace," a fallen politician get up and serve not himself or his bank account, but the public. These days, Jim McGreevey is truly a public servant doing important work.
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