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Diverging from the standard documentary, David Driver weaves a visual meditation on the idea of life's work and personal happiness. Spanning more than a decade, Way of Life traverses the world to illustrate how a single altruistic gesture can evolve into a richly satisfying way of life. The narrative follows the extraordinary journey of Michael Daube, a young artist of modest means from small-town America who finds a valuable piece of art while searching through an abandoned warehouse. He sells it at auction and with the proceeds builds a hospital in one of the most remote areas of India.
Following Daube’s path through India, Nepal, Mexico and the US, the film focuses on the extraordinary aspects of his continued philanthropic work with hospitals, schools and similar international aid projects. With intimate and moving camerawork, the film interweaves moments of this incredible journey to illustrate how his simple, ground-level approach to working with marginalized communities transforms the lives of those involved. Ultimately, Way of Life explores these relationships between creativity, life’s work and personal happiness in a way that inspire us to consider and appreciate our own best intentions.


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As a child Michael Daube dreamed of traveling to distant lands. It was a dream that never wavered. After graduating from art school, Michael, set his eyes on India. Based on a newspaper article he had tucked away in his pocket, he set out in search of an abandoned place in Orissa, near the Bay of Bengal.
A series of remarkable synchronicities led him to Mother Theresa’s refuge near Kalighat Temple, to volunteer in the care for the dying poor of Calcutta. The experience was deeply profound. Michael saw how little it would take to affect change - but being himself a person of limited means, he left India with a serious puzzle: how could he continue to help without the money needed to realize his intentions?
The answer came fortuitously in 1989 while Michael, working as an artist, was scavenging for sculpture materials in an abandoned warehouse in New Jersey. The reflection off the frame of a discarded piece of art caught his eye among the debris. Michael recognized in the drawing’s initials the letters “DH”. He had stumbled on a valuable work by artist David Hockney. The artwork fetched $18,000 at Sotheby’s. At that point Michael knew he could do something.
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Ossie, Powis Terrace - 1968
16 3/4 X 13 3/4

By request of the artist, the image of the actual drawing
is only to be available in the body of the film.

The story of the drawing: By the late 1980s the drawing found its way into a warehouse in Jersey City, New Jersey. The building; having many incarnations including; fabric factory, stone carving factory and storage facility, was, by that time, abandoned. Because of other material found in the same spot, it is believed that a collector who had passed away and left no record of his storage articles owned the drawing. As the building changed hands, the new management began renting it out to some of the growing population of artists in the area. Some time in 1989, a young artist named Michael Daube moved in.

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A film by David Driver