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Grace (Hessed)

A sensitive film about the final stop for terminal patients - the hospice

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Documentary Senior Citizens

“You know, I feel as if I’ve known this place since I was born. A home. I say that this is a place of life. Everything here is alive. Even death is alive...”

The final stop for terminal patients beyond the reach of medical treatment, a hospice provides palliative care to patients determined to die with dignity. Filmmaker Ilan Yagoda takes us inside the stories playing out at an Israeli hospice, where the average stay is a modest 14 days. Alternately inspiring and heartbreaking, this poignant verité-style doc carefully follows six families as they attempt to say goodbye to their loved ones. The stories are personal, but common: a man who believes he was struck ill as punishment for leaving a fallen comrade on the battlefield; a woman who realizes she has walked through a loveless life; a son struggling to let go of his father. Yagoda eschews interviews and voice-overs, but his portraits are still intimate, candid and deeply familiar. In Grace, we find that the search for solace and the yearning for reconciliation can be quiet, beautiful, haunting and common to us all.

A film by Ilan Yagoda

The result is a stylish, soulful piece, which succeeds in impressing upon the audience the grace of forgiveness. There is no present reality in this film, but it nevertheless is deeply relevant. This is not a statement on the here and now, more a statement on several eternal questions. 
Time Out

Through the lens of Ilan Yagoda, the last 14 days of those cancer patients seem full than ever. humour, love, introspection and a truthful preparation for separation from the loved ones are all part  of life in the house of death. Yagoda serves us with 78 minutes of love, compassion and an empowering lesson in saying goodbye. 
Hanna Kleinmann

Prizes and Awards

Winner of the Editing Award,  Docaviv film festival, Israel
Screened in HotDocs film festival, Canada
Screened in Viosion du Reel, Switzerland
Participated in Input conference, Taiwan

Director: Ilan Yagoda

Cinematography: Danny Barnea

Editing: Era Lapid

Sound Design: Gil Toren

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