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House of Life
A film by Allan Miller and Mark Podwal

52 minutes, documentary, color, English, 2008

Regular Price: $24.95
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Synopsis

House of Life 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. Almost 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 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. The cemetery – and film – serve as a powerful reminder of the indomitable spirit of a people compelled to honor their past and preserve the lessons of history.


Reviews

"Fascinating!" - Newsday

"This poignant evocation moves the viewer to appreciate a very special memory."
- Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate and Author of "Night"

"Solemn yet joyous...a reminder of the indomitable spirit of a people compelled to honor their past and preserve the lessons of history."- Hamptons International Film Festival

"You’ve enriched the world with ‘House of Life.’ Watching it was a sad but ennobling pleasure. It’s one of the most meaningful documentaries I know."
- Walter Reich, Former Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Recommended Reading

Built by Angels: The Story of the Old-New Synagogue by Mark Podwal

Houses of Life: Jewish Cemeteries of Europe by Joachim Jacobs

Jewish Stories of Prague: Jewish Prague in History and Legend by V.V. Tomek


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