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51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 4 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Choosing life in life's final chapter is the poignant subtext of this new powerful documentary, a lyrical portrait of eight nursing home residents who make a pilgrimage to Israel. Offered a seat on the bus for a 10-day tour, the viewer accompanies individuals with various personal theologies in and out of museums, crossing Israeli landscapes from mountains to desert. But Next Year Jerusalem is less a story about tourists in a foreign land than it is a meditation on the sanctity of human experience and a tribute to the wisdom acquired in the course of a lifetime. Earnest and nuanced, it is a true exploration of living and dying, hope and fear, travel and memory. A celebration of and a reverent tribute to life's eldest travelers. [First Run Pictures] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Reviewed by: Daniel M. Gold
    May 15, 2014
    70
    What elevates the film beyond a video scrapbook, though, are the glimpses of the routines and slow rhythms of the nursing home before and after this adventure.
  2. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    May 29, 2014
    60
    It's a privilege getting to know these determined, inspiring seniors, to whatever extent Gaynes allows. But a more deeply revealing, fully candid approach would have made for a more satisfying cinematic excursion.
  3. Reviewed by: Noah Berlatsky
    May 13, 2014
    50
    Next Year Jerusalem offers little insight into its putative protagonists, and even less into Israel.
  4. Reviewed by: Jay Weissberg
    Jun 5, 2014
    40
    Sure, some of these dames and geezers are fun, and it’s heartening to see them pushing themselves for what’s likely their last expedition, yet Gaynes forgets that even schmaltz needs salt and pepper.

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