Pinkas' Dream AND The Shower | Chicago Reader

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Two Israeli works about family relationships across generations. Ruth Walk's video documentary Pinkas' Dream (1998, 50 min.) concerns an elderly Israeli man who emigrated from Kurdistan 50 years earlier. After dreaming about the sister he left behind, Pinkas visits her and begins bringing her large but poor Muslim family to Israel. Eventually 54 of them have come over and begun studying Judaism, but soon they start leaving—like thieves, he complains—and only near the end does Walk reveal that some aren't even his relatives. Pinkas doesn't seem to realize that his repudiation of his sister for marrying a Muslim 50 years ago might play some role in his inability to make authentic connections today; instead he speculates that their bad behavior is a trait of “goyim.” Jorge Gurvich's The Shower (1997, 35 min.) is a documentary-like fiction in which a hospitalized old man fulfills his dream of showering at home. Gurvich vividly captures the connection between loss of mobility and loss of dignity when the man's son has to help him undress. Gurvich prefers his original 35-millimeter format, but unfortunately this screening will be on video.

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