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Great Grandmother, Great Grandfather

87

Directed by: Taliya Finkel
Israel

“-Did you go on a honeymoon?
-Honeymoon? In our dreams! Our entire life is honey…”

This is the orthodox grandpather’s answer to his atheist granddaughter- the film director who tries to understand his strength of spirit, despite all the difficulties he has had to overcome throughout his life.

The lifetime of Batiya & Reuven Gurevitz is paved with pain and hardship. They are Jewish Holocaust refugees. In their youth they were forced to abandon everything they had, because of the invasion of Beserabia by the Nazi army at the beginning of World War II. They wandered across the former USSR, experiencing disgraceful poverty and local anti-Semitism.
Even now, at their old age, they are forced to abandon their modest home in Israel, acquired through much strife & struggles and move into a rented apartment. An echo of their never-ending wanderings.
Despite all their troubles, they remain highly devoted orthodox Jews.

The grandfather has an optimistic attitude towards life. He always looks on the ‘bright side of life’ and accepts Gods’ guiding hand. The grandmother, on the other hand, is somewhat bitter.
She believes that God intended for things to happen exactly as they did, but she doesn’t know why. She knows there are miracles in the world, but does not see herself among the blessed.

The film raises existential questions about the importance of sustaining one’s religion & faith in the face of a deteriorating physical condition. It presents the Holocaust as a trauma which molds their view of life.

-“Honeymoon?! Possibly there was honey on the table…what do I know…It’s possible. But Honeymoon? We didn’t know of such a thing. It’s for the rich they don’t know what to do with their money- they go on a Honeymoon!”

The end of his answer represents both grandparents’ philosophical view, which is a combination of accepting the faith with the old Jewish humor. This ironic duality is an integral part of the “Wandering Jew” essence.

Still images