Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Four Seasons Lodge

Four Seasons Lodge is a lyrical yet powerful mediation on love, aging, and the importance of friendship. The film, shot in 2006, follows a group of 50 couples, all Holocaust survivors, on their last annual trip to the Four Seasons Lodge, one of the few remaining resorts in the Catskills. Shot in a Robert Altman-esque style, we are given fleeting glimpses into the lives of these individuals, while much remains a mystery. Unlike most documentaries about Holocaust survivors, the focus of this film is not the survivors’ wartime experiences. In fact, we learn very little about their lives during that time aside from some brief shots of arm tattoos, a few allusions to Auschwitz, and a smattering of faded black and white photographs. Instead, the real centerpiece is the enduring friendship that have sustained these men and women in their postwar lives. This retreat in the Catskills provides not only a break from city life, but also a refuge where they could feel comfortable being themselves, no matter their demons, while surrounded by others who shared their experiences.

The movie is powerful in its simplicity. It has no real narrative arc and the filmmakers don’t push the survivors to tell their stories. Rather the camera allows us a peek the inner workings of this family that they’ve created for themselves out of the ashes of Holocaust. Warts and all.

It's now playing at Quad Cinemas.

For a more in depth review of the film, click here.

Watch the trailer here:

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