Veteran documentary filmmaker Volker Koepp directs this sensitive, finely-etched portrait of elderly Jews doggedly perpetuating a dying culture in western Ukraine. The titular Herr Zwilling and Frau Zuckerman still work as teachers (he teaches university level chemistry courses while she gives private lessons in German and English) in the town of Czernnowitz, a region ruled by Austria, Romania, and the Soviet Union at various points during the 20th century. The 90-year-old Zuckerman lost her entire family in the concentration camps -- the same fate she would have met had she not been bedridden with Typhus. A boy during the war, Zwilling's job as an architect furnished him and his family safe passage to Ecuador. Bound by common experience, the two spend almost every day together. The town itself, which used to have a thriving Jewish community -- with 55 synagogues, a Jewish school and a free clinic -- has fallen into disrepair, thanks largely to mass emigration to Israel and the U.S. after the war.
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