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AND MANY HAPPY RETURNS

USA, 1995 (MIFF 1996, Documenta)

Director: Owen Shapiro

A summer camp for the Jewish elderly, a chance to make new friends, share one's past and tell a few jokes. With hilarious effect, classic one-liners from old movies are intercut with the actual dialogue of the soundtrack,adding extra dimension to the relationships developing before the viewer. A sensitive andintelligent film that comments on the cyclical nature of life while giving dignity to the old observing the particular nature and complexities (relationships at the latter stages of life) (KM)

And Many Happy Returns is a loosely constructed film that is bound by two key scenes owing the arrival and departure of several women to the camp. Within these bracketing scenes pivotal life experiences are shared, gossip exchanged, jokes swapped and intimate stories discussed. The film is possessed of a humous yet elegiac tone that speaks of the fragile nature of life's recurrent phases. Looming in the background is the holocaust - this camp is starkly different yet hauntingly familiar.

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