Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
Canada/USA, 2002. Astral Films, British Columbia Film Commission, CITY-TV, CanWest Global Communications, Davis Entertainment Filmworks, The Big Little Picture Company Ltd., Téléfilm Canada. Screenplay by Nicholas Racz. Cinematography by Danny Nowak. Produced by Richard Baumgartel, Howard Dancyger. Music by George Blondheim. Production Design by James Hazell. Costume Design by Katia Stano. Film Editing by Jeremy Presner.
A loan manager for a small investment company discovers that his bosses are involved in the mob and decides to switch careers. He becomes a member of the Chevrah Kadisha, the group of men who prepare bodies for burial in accordance with traditional Jewish funeral rites. The men he approaches with his proposal resist him at first, having not had a newcomer in their group for a very long time, but after he spins his yarn and asks them to help save him from people who are looking to kill him, they welcome him as one of their own. What they don’t know is that he’s actually hoping to steal a body in order to fake his death and get the bad guys off his tail for good; what he doesn’t know is how powerful and moving the experience of working with these men will be, to the point that his goals might actually change by the end of the film. What you need to know is that this film is badly acted, poorly directed and slow as a dying snail, ugly to look at and, despite a wonderful plot that puts a new twist on an old tale, impossible to sit through.