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House of Life
House of Life
Actor: Claire Bloom
Directors: Mark Podwal, Allan Miller
Genres: Drama, Special Interests, Documentary
NR     2009     0hr 52min

This solemn yet joyous documentary tells the story of The Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague, the site of layer upon layer of buried members of the once-vibrant Jewish community. Almost a million people from all over the world ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Claire Bloom
Directors: Mark Podwal, Allan Miller
Genres: Drama, Special Interests, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Religion, Religion & Spirituality, Religion
Studio: First Run Features
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 03/24/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 0hr 52min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Memories of a Community Now Gone
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 02/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

""House of Life: The Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague"

Memories of a Community Now Gone

Amos Lassen

Prague once had a glorious Jewish community with a history that was filled with mysticism, tradition and philosophy. Narrated by Claire Bloom, we are taken back to the Prague that was and the ancient tombstones have powerful stories to tell. These are stories of the spirit of a people who feel a compelling force to let the world know of a time that was. The cemetery honors the past as it preserves the lessons that history has forced upon us.
This is documentary manages to be both solemn and joyous at the same time as we walk through the cemetery that now houses the bodies of one of the most prominent and vibrant communities of the Jewish people. The cemetery holds stories like the one of the giant golem that had been created from clay to protect the Jewish people. There are great rabbis and scholars and philanthropists buried here and there are possibly as many as 100,000 Jews from Prague that have been laid to rest behind the stones that mark the graves.
The cemetery has quite a history for the living as well. When the Jews of Prague were forced into the ghetto during World War II, the cemetery became the playground for the Jewish children and under communist rule the cemetery was a kind of lover's lane where romantics met.
"House of Life" is a powerful testimony to what was and Alan Miller and Mark Podwal do the cemetery proud with this wonderful look at it.