Thy Father's Chair

In this Jewish Grey Gardens, Avraham is a sixtysomething Orthodox Jew living in Brooklyn in his deceased parents’ family home. His alcoholic identical twin brother Shraga is gone most of the time, so Avraham passes his time in their claustrophobic apartment petting his cats and sitting on a dilapidated couch among old newspapers, books and rotten food. When his tenant in the upper level can’t stand the smell any longer and threatens to report him to the authorities, Avraham is forced to hire a deep cleaning crew. They arrive in their white uniforms and within three days transform the space. During this time we get to know Avraham and discover the depth of his hoarding issues, extreme loneliness and other mental health problems. Yet, during all this, his tender and sensitive side shines through as he struggles to hold on to the memories of his beloved parents. The emerging connection between the empathetic cleaning crew and Avraham tells a unique story about understanding, patience and acceptance, with a bit of black humor and a great sensitivity and affection for people who lead unconventional lives. As Los Angeles Times writer Steven Zeitchik put it, “The filmmakers are interested in understanding, not judging.” —Shevi Loewinger
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