“The Farewell Party” is a timely bittersweet film about a very thorny issue: assisted suicide and the right to die. While euthanasia is a serious and provocative issue, the characters in this film treat it with realistic, yet humorous expectations. The setting is an old people’s home in Jerusalem where the residents live in pleasant flats, can run their own lives and always have chess partners when they want – but there is the fact that death is a constant presence. When one of their best-loved residents, Max, is dying of an illness with an expected but very painful end, several characters decide to devise a way to help him die sooner and painlessly without themselves being held responsible for murder.
Amateur inventor, Yehezkel decides to construct a device that allows patients to take matters into their own hands by self-administering a fatal dose of drugs. He recruits the support of Daniel (Ilan Dar), a retired veterinarian experienced in putting animals to sleep, and former cop Rafi (Rafi Tabor), who he hopes will keep them out of trouble with the law. As rumors about the self-euthanasia machine leak out in the senior community, more appeals arise for a painless and peaceful death, raising thorny ethical questions and emotional complications. All of a sudden, everyone wants a way out when they need it.
Showcasing some of Israel’s top acting veterans, THE FAREWELL PARTY has been praised by critics for embracing a challenging subject “with a skillful balance of compassion, laughter and a healthy dose of audaciousness.”
Language: Hebrew with English subtitles Running time: 89 minutes