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The Burial Society

Directed by Nicholas Racz

Canada-USA | 94 minutes | 2002

The Chevrah Kadisha (a traditional Jewish burial society, in which elders prepare bodies for interment as a sacred duty to their community) is not your average backdrop for a seriocomic caper movie, but it imbues this offbeat Jewish noir with a unique gravity. It's a bit unusual that Sheldon (Rob LaBelle), a thirty-something schlemiel of an accountant, wants to join a Chevrah Kadisha, but the tough old foxes of the group (Jan Rubes, Allan Rich, and Bill Meilen) decide to give him a chance. Then, two million bucks turn up missing from Sheldon's former employer. Where's the money? Why were two thugs dangling him off a bridge? What does this have to do with a traditional Jewish spiritual practice? Why was the Mafia kingpin (Seymour Cassel) so unhappy to meet Sheldon? And why is Sherman's brother the only person he can trust? Canadian director Nicholas Racz has taken the little-seen world of the Jewish burial society and plunked a quirky, well-woven murder mystery-complete with Jewish Mafia thugs, devious detectives, and nervous breakdowns-right in the middle of it. It's a treat. Beautifully shot, tightly edited and darkly funny.
Director Nicholas Racz
Countries of Production Canada-USA
Year of Presentation 2002
Premiere Status
Runtime 94 minutes
Principal Cast Seymour Cassel, Rob LaBelle, Jan Rubes, Allan Rich
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