Germany, Israel 2015
Levana, Yehezkel's wife, does everything she can to stop them, but Yehezkel goes behind her back, and together the group of friends help Max end his suffering. When Levana, who suffers from early stage Alzheimer’s, realises what they've done she calls them all murderers, and wants nothing to do with them.
Meanwhile word of the machine begins to leak out, and old people from all over Jerusalem come to the retirement home looking for a way to end the suffering of their loved ones. They beg Yehezkel and his friends to help them. The group resists at first, but finally they find themselves in the euthanasia “business", granting people their last wish to die in peace.
Yehezkel is so distracted by all this that he refuses to realise that Levana's condition is deteriorating, despite her increasingly erratic behaviour. But Levana realises she's one step away from not knowing her own granddaughter and as she begins to consider her own situation she starts to understand that she may have misjudged her husband and her friends.
THE FAREWELL PARTY deals with separation. Separation from someone you love, separation from yourself - when the mind begins to fail, and the separation from life and the right to choose how it all ends.
The main characters are senior citizens, in a retirement community in Jerusalem, people who have retired from their life's work – these types of people are not usually heroes of movies. But out of that very place of retirement and inactivity, they decide to gain control over their fate. As in any tragedy where the protagonist tries to change his destiny and of those surrounding him, there is an unbearable price to pay.
THE FAREWELL PARTY is also a film about love and friendship. Our five main characters find comfort, strength and hope in each other in the difficult and funniest moments of life.
The plot is not autobiographical, but is based on personal experiences accumulated while caring for a ‘Helga’; someone close to us, towards the end of their life. In our process of saying goodbye to a loved one, we discovered that when the body fails and the mind remains lucid, self-irony and humour remain the best way to cope with the prospect of death.
In our films we try to deal with contemporary social issues, which are often controversial. We try to break the emotional drama with absurd and comic elements. We do so also by casting comedians and in the case of this film some of the icons of Israeli comedy, in dramatic roles. We feel this makes this difficult and important issue more accessible to our audience, and hopefully, as in life, they will laugh as they wipe away their tears.
Cast & Crew
Directed by : Sharon Maymon, Tal Granit
Written by : Sharon Maymon, Tal Granit
Produced by : Haim Mecklberg, Estee Yacov-Mecklberg, Talia Kleinhendler, Osnat Handelsman-Keren, Thanassis Karathanos
Director of Photography : Tobias Hochstein
Editor : Einat Glaser-Zarhin
Production Design : Arad Sawat
Costume Design : Laura Sheim
Composer : Avi Belleli
Sound Design : Aviv Aldema
Main Cast : Ze'ev Revach (Yehezkel), Levana Finkelstein (Levana), Aliza Rozen (Yana), Ilan Dar (Dr. Daniel), Raffi Tavor (Raffi Segal)
Nominations and Awards
- EFA Selection 2015