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House of Life (2008)

Claire Bloom , Mark Podwal , Allan Miller  |  NR |  DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Claire Bloom
  • Directors: Mark Podwal, Allan Miller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • DVD Release Date: March 24, 2009
  • Run Time: 52 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001NJ915M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,705 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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 now visit the cemetery each year, and House of Life chronicles its history, which is rich in lore, mysticism, tradition and philosophy.

Tales of great rabbis and philanthropists and the story of the giant golem, created from clay to protect the Jewish people, are narrated by Claire Bloom. The 12,000 stones may be covering as many as 100,000 members of Prague's historic Jewish community. Under the German occupation in World War II, the cemetery was the only place where Jewish children were allowed to play. Later, under the communists, lovers met there for trysts. The cemetery--and film-- serve as a powerful reminder of the indomitable spirit of a people compelled to honor their past and preserve the lessons of history.


This poignant evocation moves the viewer to appreciate a very special memory - that of ancient stones. --Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate and Author of NIGHT

Solemn yet joyous...a reminder of the indomitable spirit of a people compelled to honor their past and preserve the lessons of history. --Michael Schenkler, Queens Press

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Amazon Instant Video
I love old cemeteries, but this one in Prague, Czech Republic, is the most unusual one I've heard about. The availability of documentaries like this make having a Prime membership worthwhile for me, and it is definitely worth the cost to purchase if you don't have Prime. (Available on Amazon for purchase and elsewhere and on YouTube for rent as well--I must say that because I would hate for anyone with interest in the significance of old cemeteries to miss it. Lots of images of the cemetery online, as well.) This one-hour documentary is a delight, beautifully done. Sensitive, sad in places, as you'd expect from anything that touches on the tragedy of Jewish history, yes, but lightened up with sections that are almost fanciful in tone. It tells about the strange golem legend and the belief by some locals that the dead gather there at night to pray. Some current locals think it has magical properties. If you have any interest in the cultural or spiritual meaning of gravestone symbols and cemeteries, like to visit unusual places, or care about Jewish history and its fascinating symbolism and folklore, don't miss this one. Btw, it is in English, most of it, with subtitles. Not hard to follow at all. I'll watch again and again.
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