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The Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague


Director - Allan Miller and Mark Podwal
Run Time - 52 minutes
Language - English
Format - DVD
Year - 2007
Genre - Documentary

Educational Interest- Anthropology, History (World), Jewish Studies,
Religion, Urban Studies, World War II

Institutional DVD Price: $195




This solemn yet joyous documentary tells the story of The Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague, the site of layer upon layer of buried members of the once-vibrant Jewish community of the ghetto. Two thirds of a million people from all over the world now visit the cemetery each year, and House of Life chronicles its history, which is rich in lore, mysticism, tradition and philosophy. Tales of great rabbis and philanthropists and the story of the giant golem, created from clay to protect the Jewish people, are narrated by Claire Bloom. The 12,000 stones on the surface of The Old Jewish Cemetery may be covering as many as 100,000 members of Prague’s historic Jewish community. Under the German occupation in World War II, the cemetery was the only place where Jewish children were allowed to play. Later, under the communists, lovers met there for trysts. Today the neighborhood that was formerly the ghetto is quite fashionable. The cemetery serves, as does the film, as a reminder of the indomitable spirit of a people determined to honor their past and preserve the lessons of history.


"House of Life's poignant evocation of the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague moves the viewer to appreciate a very special memory - that of ancient stones."  - Elie Wiesel


"You've enriched the world with 'House of Life.' Watching it was a sad but ennobling pleasure. I'm grateful that you made it, and grateful to have had a chance to see it. It's one of the most meaningful documentaries I know."
- Walter Reich, Former Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Read an article about House of Life on