Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Director Jan Oxenberg's purpose for making Thank You and Good Night was to seek out an answer to the question, "What is this thing called death?" The subject of this documentary is Oxenberg's grandmother Mae Joffe, who was dying of cancer when the film was made. In between Joffe's candid and sometimes quite funny observations, Oxenberg offers dramatized flashbacks to her childhood experiences with her grandmother. These sequences, along with a fantasy quiz show, are "enacted" with cardboard cutouts made from family photographs. Filmed in 1991, Thank You and Good Night received its national premiere on May 19, 1993, as an installment of PBS' American Playhouse.
accident, brother, cancer, car, cemetery, childhood, cinema, conversation, death, disease, disintegration, exploration, family, fantasy, fear, film, flashback, game-show, gathering, granddaughter, grandmother, grave, grief, health, home, hospital, identity, interview, irony, Judaism, life, love, machine, maternal, memory, mother, nature, Nazism, personal, questioning [police interrogation], radioactivity, regret, relationship, relative, sentimental, sister, smoking, space, tension, therapist, tunnel, visit, voice [speaking]