53rd Thessaloniki IFF: “Epilogue” by Amir Manor

Israeli journalist Amir Manor closes the case on leftist intellectualism, but still leaves room for romance.

Hayuta and Berl are an elderly couple. She’s 80 and he’s 86. She’s the practical type, while he longs for the left-wing intellectualism of the past. They live in an apartment surrounded by books, paintings, papers, photographs – remnants from their youth, back when they thought their ideas would change the world. Their son has immigrated to New York and has started his own family. Hayuta and Berl are living on a small pension that’s barely enough to cover their medical bills and a feeling that this isn’t how they envisioned the future would be.

epilogue

A political journalist, Amir Manor has a surprising eye for film. Documenting a world in decline, he creates a universe of twilight and dust, where hope is buried under a mountain of memorabilia. Hayuta and Berl watch their bodies deteriorate, while the world around speeds up and leaves them behind. Society is fearful, sad and cruel. In short, it’s nothing like they thought it would be, when they were planning the social revolution in their distant youth.

At a loss, the last romantics of the left-wing intellectualism, are now realizing that they helped create a world that no longer has any use for them. While their house is falling apart and their lives no longer have meaning, they realize the joke was on them. How will they manage to reverse their actions before it’s too late? With the camera affectionately following them every step of the way, trapped within four walls and too afraid to face the dark, savage streets, Hayuta and Berl sum up their marriage and their joint dreams, doomed to fail from the start. With a filmmaking talent that’s hard to ignore, Manor makes good use of the differences between his characters and the contemporary world, reflecting the burden of disappointment and experience in every wrinkle, every move and every liquid look. It’s no accident that all he needs is two stools and one slice of pizza to conjure up the most romantic scene in the entire festival.