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This story begins when Jose finds out that Nora, the woman he'd been married to for 30 years and then divorced, has committed suicide. The rabbi explains to Jose that due to the celebration of the Passover festivities, together with a few other factors, if Nora is not buried that same day, they will have to wait almost five days to be able to carry out the burial. It turns out that before she died, Nora devised a Machiavellian plan in order for him to take care of her funeral. But she missed something, a mysterious photograph left under the bed will lead to an unexpected outcome which will remind us that sometimes the greatest love stories are hidden in the smallest places. Written by
Warsaw Film Festival
"Death hath so many doors to let out life." Beaumont and Fletcher
Jose's (Fernando Lujan) ex-wife, Nora, of 20 years has died, and he is left with the arrangements. Not to worry because she has placed notes on Tupperware in the fridge and left instructions for everyone about the wake. Problem is, as she well knew, Jews may not bury during Passover, so Jose has to deal with preserving the corpse over the weekend and yielding to the strict Jewish prescriptions.
Yet Jose long ago lost his faith along with his wife, who by the way has committed suicide after the 14th try. Under Jewish law, she may not be buried in the main part of the cemetery, just another barrier for Jose.
And so it goes in this small but poignant tale of Judeo-Christian practices in turmoil and more importantly the roiling of Jose's inner dialogue as he realizes his wife was unfaithful to him while they were married. Besides the amusing struggle with the Orthodox Rabbi, Jose confronts a son who is too tied to his father-in-law and a close physician friend with a painful secret. Call it Secret and Lies, for the corpse has planned well to have the past brought to the present through her pre-suicide machinations. For Jose, it's a matter of dealing with his feelings for his ex-wife and his atheism in the presence of believers.
Perhaps the subtlest success of the film is seeing Jose gradually reveal an inner core of feeling and humanity released by his ex-wife in her death. It's a strange irony made probable by underplaying and a powerful script.
For an audience of believers and non, Nora's Will will make you think about the aftermath, just as Depatures (2008) made me think about preparing a body for the final journey. It's all more than we can know before the end, but it is up to art like this to help us prepare.
"A death-bed's a detector of the heart." Edward Young
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