An Israeli retiree seeks to restore his sense of purpose in this tender, lovingly observed Haifa Film Festival top prize winner. Slipping into the sunset of life isn’t easy for crusty but softhearted Meir, a former engineer who now toils away crafting a bed for his grandson, and devastated when a younger cohort takes over organizing a traditional community ceremony. This low-key gem proves a profound contemplation on aging and transition.
One of the world’s leading cantorial masters departs the bema, prompting questions about the fading tradition of Jewish sacred music. With an outsized Brooklyn persona and phenomenal voice, Cantor Jack Mendelson utterly leaps off the screen. But after 29 years, his synagogue prefers a younger cantor. With emotion, Mendelson and other experts explain a centuries-long art form, and what its loss represents.