26 January 2009 | magullon
Finish what started 16 years ago
Written and directed by Gabriel Lichtmann (Buenos Aires, 1974), this film looks at the crises that followed the failed suicide attempt of Mauricio, an elderly Jewish man at a loss after the death of his wife. When his extended family determines that he cannot live by himself, they come together to decide what to do. The decision is put aside as members of the young generation decide to celebrate a traditional Seder. As the family struggles with to do with Mauricio, his children have to face issues that go back many years. The slow but well-acted script reveals the difficult life of practicing Jews in contemporary Buenos Aires. At the end, the problems faced by this Jewish familya fragile economy, loss of traditional family values, and the difficulties of caring for the elders in a fast-paced modern societyare shown to resemble those of gentile Argentine families. Two outstanding characters are Luciana and Santiago, cousins who together produce a plan to make their relatives gather in the ancestral home. Unfortunately, like other characters in the film, their personal stories are not well developed; viewers may end of wishing that at least one of the several story lines was resolved. Recommended as a secondary item for collections of contemporary films from Argentina.
The phrase "Why is this night different from all other nights?" Is part of say a prayer for the children of Passover Seder. It questioned the children, without ever obtaining a response on the meaning of the Passover meal, different from other days of the year. According to the interpretation of my old Haggadah, the importance of this prayer is that "For the believer, no questions, while for non-believer, there is no answer." Apparently the question is whether it is still possible to believe, and especially what to believe. "