A box-office hit in Israel, this tender and humanistic film audaciously walks the finest of lines between comedy and tragedy. In a Jerusalem retirement home, 75-year-old amateur inventor Yehezkel (Ze’ev Revah) is building a machine for self-euthanasia at the request of his dear friend Max, who is suffering greatly from an incurable illness. Helping him are Max’s wife Yana and two other retirement-home residents: a former veterinarian (who supplies the drugs) and a retired police chief (who provides the intel to help them get away with this illegal task). Though Max gets his wish, word leaks out and soon the group is besieged with requests for similar help, engendering moral dilemmas that increase exponentially when one of their own faces a health crisis. “The Farewell Party not only thinks the unthinkable, it laughs at the unlaughable ... A consistently warm and comic film about an unmistakably serious subject” (Kenneth Turan, L.A. Times).
Post-screening discussion with Dr. Derryck Smith, Dr. Terry Anderson, and Dr. Michael Varelas.
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Dr. Smith is a Clinical Professor Emeritus with the Department of Psychiatry at UBC, a past president of the Medical Legal Society, and a board member of Dying with Dignity Canada.
Dr. Anderson has been a health care ethicist for over 40 years, and is currently serving as the ethicist for VCHA Richmond.
Dr. Varelas is a neurologist in Richmond, and is the chair of the Richmond Ethics Committee and co-chair of the VCHA regional ethics council.
Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.
"A very funny film, as mischievous as the youth that has long since left its characters."RogerEbert.com | full review
"Feels fresh and rejuvenating ... The film’s deft, improbable balance of tone makes its success feel well-deserved."The Dissolve | full review