Residents of a retirement home build a machine for self-euthanasia in order to help their terminally ill friend, though they are faced with a series of dilemmas when rumors of the machine begin to spread.
THE FAREWELL PARTY is a compassionate dark comedy about friendship and knowing when to say goodbye. A group of friends at a Jerusalem retirement home build a machine for self-euthanasia in order to help their terminally ill friend. When rumors of the machine begin to spread, more and more people ask for their help, and the friends are faced with an emotional dilemma.Written by
The Israeli movie Mita Tova was shown in the U.S. with the title The Farewell Party (2014). It was co-written and co-directed by Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon. It's described as a drama/comedy, but it's not very funny.
I like the concept of the movie--a group of older people in a retirement home are brought together to help members of their group who are suffering. Can they technically manage euthanasia? What are the ethical and moral implications? What are the legal implications?
The most difficult situation does not involve physical pain. Levana, played by Levana Finkelstein, is a beautiful, intelligent woman who is showing signs of dementia. She's astute enough, in her lucid moments, to understand what's happening to her. What is the wisest answer to her terrible problem?
The directors made a brilliant casting decision when they chose Ms. Finkelstein as the actor to play Levana. We tend to think of patients with dementia as being very old, with disheveled hair and clothing. Finkelstein does not conform to this stereotype. She is youthful, attractive, and stylish. We realize that this woman had a reasonable expectation of many more years of happiness. Sadly, that expectation will not be fulfilled. It's tragic.
I found the comic portion of the movie to be problematic. Certainly, you can have comic interludes in a tragedy. However, I don't believe directors Granit and Maymon succeeded in making the comedy work. To me, this was a drama, and I think viewers should approach it as a drama. If you enjoy the comic aspects of the movie, all the better.
We saw this film at Rochester's Little Theatre, as part of the fabulous Rochester International Film Festival. It will work very well on a small screen.
3 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this