The Farewell Party (Mita Tova)

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 7:00 pm

Israel/Germany 2014 Tal Granit, Sharon Maymon 95 DCP


The Farewell Party not only thinks the unthinkable, it laughs at the unlaughable … A consistently warm and comic film about an unmistakably serious subject.”

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

A box-office hit in Israel, this tender and humanistic film audaciously walks the finest of lines between comedy and tragedy. In a Jerusalem retirement home, 75-year-old amateur inventor Yehezkel (Ze’ev Revach) is building a machine for self-euthanasia at the request of his dear friend Max, who is suffering greatly from an incurable illness. Helping him are Max’s wife Yana and two other retirement-home residents: a former veterinarian (who supplies the drugs) and a retired police chief (who provides the intel to help them get away with this illegal task). Though Max gets his wish, word leaks out and soon the group is besieged with requests for similar help, engendering moral dilemmas that worsen when one of their own faces a health crisis.

Post-screening discussion with Dr. Randall F. White and Dr. Boris Henriquez.

Dr. Randall F. White is a clinical professor of psychiatry at UBC, Clinical Director of the B.C. Psychosis Program at UBC Hospital, and Medical Director of the Vancouver Community Mental Health and Substance Use Services.

Dr. Boris Henriquez is a family physician practicing predominantly in palliative and end-of-life care, as well as family planning. His appointments include Home Vive, a program with a mandate to provide primary and palliative care at home for frail elderly, as well as the Medical Assistance in Dying consultations and provisions for Vancouver Coastal Health, and Fraser Health regions.

Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.

A neatly balanced tragicomedy … Granit and Maymon don’t shy from the basic human reality Bette Davis supposedly voiced: Old age isn’t for sissies. But its low-key humour and nuanced relationships keep The Farewell Party from feeling oppressively heavy.”

Elise Nakhnikian, Slant Magazine

Co-sponsored by The Vancouver Jewish Film Festival and the Western Canada District Branch of the American Psychiatric Association