Religion was the source of many feuds over the last hundreds of years, and, in many ways, people started to be very careful when religious themes were involved as not to create a difficult situation. In ‘The Nun’s Kaddish’, we are presented with one of those situations that we just mentioned above. As we all may know, during the Second World War and even after that, the Jews in Europe were targets for extremists that were too blind to see outside their brainwashed box.
As it happens in times of desperation, people jump in to help other people, and no borders can stand in front of a helping hand. In this short film, a man goes to the cemetery to say a prayer for a person who died without having it said when the death occurred. He is confident that his prayer will not be strong enough as he is not a very religious person, but he is willing to try it out. Based on the information we got from this short, it should have been ten people to do this prayer for it to be okay. The man does his best, and in the end, when he think it was not enough, one of the nuns standing near the grave steps in and helps him. As it happened before in history, people stand up for each other no matter the skin color or religion. What the nun did was incredible and can be seen as an example of supreme unity. After all, this is how we would sum up Luis Ismael’s film: a story about humanity and how important it is to do things with benevolence.
‘The Nun’s Kaddish’ is composed of two equally important parts – one of them is the story that covers half of the short’s outcome, and the other one is the overall vibe given by the background. We do not know much about the history of Jews in Portugal in particular, but the phrase “I don’t know if the synagogue will ever be full” said near the end of the short gives us some perspective on how people were mistreated. The story is remarkable, and it opens up some further research possibilities for filmmakers to explore, reason why we would love to see and learn more about this subject in the near future!
Written by Vlad A. G