The Cemetery Club

Pull up a chair and immerse yourself in this mesmerizing documentary about a vital group of octogenarians who meet at ten o’clock sharp on Saturday mornings in the Mount Herzl National Cemetery in Jerusalem. Among the club’s rules: the democratically elected chairperson chooses the discussion topic, and bring your own chair. The stated mandate of the group is to diminish loneliness in old age. For over two decades, the so-called Mount Herzl Academy’s members have engaged in deliberations on art, politics, philosophy, the foundation of the state of Israel (in which many of them participated), contemporary politics, Israeli-Palestinian relations, poetry and love. Director Tali Shemesh followed “the Academy” for five years, focusing on two members: her grandmother Minia and her great aunt Lena. Minia and Lena survived the Warsaw Ghetto and Auschwitz, outlived their husbands and still argue and tell each other what to do like teenagers. Their lifelong friendship, and the frankness with which they and the other Academy members speak, provide an unforgettable view of a generation that survived the worst and dreamed of a new beginning for themselves and the generations to come. Shemesh’s witty and poetic film is a brilliant portrait of older people who thirst for knowledge and fearlessly seek to understand the epic narrative of their own lives. “The Cemetery Club is one of the most powerful and multi-layered documentaries I have seen….It has elements of tragedy, comedy, of rich fiction and poignant political satire. It is a magnificent film.”—Amos Oz
w/English Subtitle
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