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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Holocaust > History > Survivors > Judaism > Four Seasons Lodge (2009/First Run Features DVD)

Four Seasons Lodge (2009/First Run Features DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Documentary: B



One thing you do not hear much about (outside of priceless recorded testimonies) are about the lives of those who survived The Holocaust, which is always more powerful and important that just telling the history.  One of the reasons I think there has been a rise in anti-Semitism is simply because those who survived are leaving us in their twilight years and it is easier for revisionists and those who flat-out hate Jewish people (among a very long list of people) to lie than before.  Andrew Jacobs’ Four Seasons Lodge (2009) took over a year to make and gives us what will be one of the last looks at survivors as a group.


The title refers to a place in the Catskills that for decades, those who somehow survived the genocide found new unity and happiness.  Now, they are wondering how much more they want the summer vacation place should continue as it is and the pain they share (along with horrific stories that did happen, yet are sometimes so ugly that you don’t want to believe, no matter how true), the very existence of this place is a quiet triumph, even in ways they may not realize.


Legendary documentarian Albert Maysles did camerawork on this project and the personal angle has some of his signature intimacy, but the visitors and their braveness even now to discuss the horrors that permanently scarred them is the crux of what is a character study of this place and these people.  Any viewer is fortunate to experience these moments of truth, which remind us that genocide has no happy ending.  However, this group as a second family (some lost their entire families when they were so very young) brought together by friendship, common experience, religion and a deep truth is an impressive document that re-reminds us why we must never forget… no matter who we are.


The letterboxed 1.78 X 1 image was shot in digital video of some sort and is slightly dim, but there are enough good shots and clean shots to merit its rating.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has location audio issues sometimes, but is nicely subtitled where needed and is not a bad recording.  Extras include four deleted scenes worth seeing, Jacobs discussing the production on camera and a trailer.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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