Thursday, November 12, 2009

Four Seasons Lodge: "Like a Funny Visit to Your Grandparents, Multiplied by a Dozen"

That's what New York Magazine had to say about this new film which opened yesterday at New York's IFC Center.

In an inspiring and startling documentary, a remarkable tribe whose members are fast disappearing come together for one final summer in the Catskill Mountains, where they cook, gamble, fight, flirt, and dance - they’re Holocaust Survivors with a captivating joie de vivre and a bracing sense of humor.

From the darkness of Europe's death camps to the lush mountains of New York's Catskills, FOUR SEASONS LODGE portrays the final season for a community of Holocaust survivors who come together each summer to celebrate their lives. Directed by New York Times journalist Andrew Jacobs, beautifully photographed by a team of cinematographers including Albert Maysles (GIMME SHELTER, GREY GARDENS), FOUR SEASONS LODGE is a counterintuitive film about the Holocaust, one that captures the Lodgers' intoxicating passion for living, in bracing contrast to lives harrowed by loss. The documentary is about tightly bonded friendships and the quest for inner peace in spite of haunting memories, as experienced through compelling people and the richness of their intensely close lives. As one of them tells us, "We live with the past, and hope for a good future. When you compare the good times to the bad, we came out winners."

In 2005, Andrew Jacobs wrote about this Shangri-La as part of a series on Catskills summer life. Astounded by their spirit, energy and wit, he wanted to do justice to these remarkable people, their raucous poker games, intoxicating laughter and dancing that goes on till dawn.
FOUR SEASONS LODGE, moving and surprisingly funny, is the last chance to visit a vanishing world and discover the men and women who trumped Hitler's Final Solution.

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