Watch Number Our Days
- 28 min
Number Our Days is a documentary film from 1976, directed by Lynne Littman, that takes a close and intimate look at the lives of elderly Jewish immigrants. The film centers around the lives of a group of elderly people who live in Venice, California, and belong to a congregation that meets at the local Jewish Community Center. The film is based on the work of Barbara Myerhoff, an anthropologist who spent several years living among the elderly Jews of Venice. She conducted ethnographic research and participated in the daily lives of the people she studied, becoming a part of their community. The elderly Jews of Venice are a remarkable group of people, who have lived through some of the most important events in modern history. They grew up in poverty in places like Eastern Europe and Russia, and many of them survived the horrors of the Holocaust. But they also have a rich cultural heritage, and are deeply committed to their religion and their community. The film is structured around the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, which marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year. The members of the congregation are shown preparing for the holiday, cooking traditional foods, and attending services at the synagogue. But the film is not just about the holiday; it is about the lives of these elderly people, their struggles, their joys, and their deep connection to their community. One of the most interesting aspects of the film is the way it captures the daily routines of these people. We see them doing everything from playing bingo and doing tai chi to cooking meals and going to doctor's appointments. We also see them grappling with issues like aging, illness, and death. One of the most poignant moments in the film is when one of the members of the congregation, a Holocaust survivor named Max, talks about the pain of losing his wife. Throughout the film, we also get to see the relationships between the members of the community. They are a close-knit group, and many of them have known each other for decades. They support each other through illness and grief, and they celebrate each other's joys and accomplishments. One of the most unique aspects of the film is its use of storytelling. Many of the members of the congregation are gifted storytellers, and they share their rich and vivid memories with the camera. These stories are often humorous and touching, but they are also deeply meaningful. They are a way for the members of the community to pass on their traditions and their history to future generations. The film is also notable for its cinematography. It has a raw, documentary-style look that captures the gritty reality of life in Venice, California. The camera often lingers on the faces of the elderly Jews, capturing their wrinkles, their expressions, and their emotions in a very intimate way. Overall, Number Our Days is a fascinating and deeply moving film. It offers a unique glimpse into the lives of a group of people who are often overlooked and undervalued in our society. It is a testament to the importance of community, tradition, and storytelling, and it reminds us of the power and resilience of the human spirit.