Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Tali Shemesh's understated seriocomic documentary The Cemetery Club (not to be confused with Bill Duke's 1993 U.S. feature of the same name) follows a group of Jewish octogenarians who undergo a daily routine. Each midday, like clockwork, they drag lawn chairs to a nearby cemetery and engage in protracted discussions, over lunch, about literature, philosophy and the state of the world - with a marked emphasis on the future of Israel. The conversations are witty and jovial, but the fact that many of the participants survived the Holocaust (and were prisoners of concentration camps) lends a solemn aura to the proceedings. Shemesh devotes a significant amount of screen time to exploring the complex relationship between two Polish women - Lena, the director's great aunt, and Minya, the director's grandmother - who grew up together in Poland, prior to their imprisonment by the Nazis. Over the course of the film, the women reminisce at length about their shared childhoods and disclosing long-buried family secrets.
cemetery, discussion, Israel, philosophy, poetry