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For over two decades, a group of women and men have been meeting weekly at Israel’s National Cemetery to debate philosophy, read poetry, eat lunch and determine the fate of the Jewish nation.
Director Tali Shemesh focuses on two of the group’s members: her grandmother, and her great aunt Lena, their life choices and their relationship. A poignant, intimate, sometimes hilarious portrait of the Holocaust generation.
"The Cemetery Club is one of the most powerful and multi-layered documentaries I have seen in recent months. It has elements of tragedy and comedy, of rich fiction and poignant political satire. I enjoyed the fine artistic logic that Tali Shemesh employs to highlight the relationship between the two women on the background of their advancing age, their loneliness, and their mutual thirst for human contact. It is a magnificent film."
(Excellent) "Celebration of life. Sensitive, clever, funny, and above all – compassionate. Excellent".
Kol Israel Reveiw
(Very Good) "Captivating, Funny and moving.,. made with plenty of talent. A must see!"
Time Out Review
"The Cemetery Club is the most successful Israeli Documentary ever!"
(Very Good) "A beautiful film with precious moments"
(Very Good) "Heartbreaking. One of the most moving documentaries I've seen"
"An excellent and touching story."
"A fantastic relationship. Fellini-style scenes. Recommended!"
London & Kirshenbaum
The Golden Dove Award for Best Documentary
"Despite the title the filmmaker has created a playful and witty film with many layers. And a strong main character whose dramatic life-story is treated with subtitle balance between humor and drama. It is a wonderful piece of filmmaking with careful editing and rich in detail."
Doc-Aviv – Opening Night. Winner of "The Mayor of Tel-Aviv Award for Promising Filmmaker"
"The Cemetery Club is a touching and multi-faceted documentary that overlays with humor the dignity and profound intelligence of this eccentric group of survivors.”
Winner of "The Best Photography Award"
"The [photography] highlights unique moments which can only be expressed in cinematic language. The film creates a dialogue between history and the present by capturing subtle moments reflected in the lovely old faces."
Best Asian Documentary – The 12th Shanghai TV Festival,
The Magnolia Award for :
The prize for the best Asian documentary goes to The Cemetery Club- a lovely, philosophically rich film on the final chapter of life: the senior years. A diminishing circle of friends convenes a regular social gathering to combat loneliness with the effective antidote of community. The tough-as-nail character Lena takes center stage in this powerful and touching tale that inter-mingles reflections on life and death, past and present, friends and family.
Festival & Awards
- 2006 The European Film Academy Nomination for Best Documentary
Doc Aviv - 2006 The Mayor of Tel-Aviv Award, The Photography Award
Hot Docs,Official Competition - 2006
Shanghai International TV Festival - 2006 Magnolia Award for Best Asian Documentary
Women's Film Festival Rehovot - 2006 The Best Film
Cannes Int'l Film Festival, Tout le Cinema Du Monde - 2006
Dok Leipzig - 2006 The Golden Dove Award for Best Documentary
Best of Fests, IDFA 2006 - 2006
One World Film Festival, Prague - 2006
Warsaw International Film Festival - 2006
Bergen International Film Festival - 2006
Sarajevo Film Festival, Special Panorama Screening - 2006 1 of 10 Public Awards
Miami International Film Festival, Official Competition - 2007