The Farewell Party is a unique, compassionate and unlikely funny story of a group of friends at an upmarket modern Jerusalem retirement home who decide to help their terminally ill friend. One of their number devises and builds an assisted suicide machine that enables a close friend, dying in pain, to put an end to his life. Word of their achievement spreads, however, and people come seeking their help, putting them under considerable pressure. Differences and complications emerge.
The Farewell Party makes its points strongly, but it is not a simplistic or didactic movie: it is empathetic work that doesn’t shy away from the ethical and emotional complexities of its subject matter. Obviously, this is tricky stuff, but directors Sharon Maymon and Tal Granit, both in their 40s, manage to mix morbidly amusing jokes with a wry appreciation for the seriousness of the subject matter. They are aided immeasurably by their veteran cast’s moving, young-at-heart performances.