Nora’s Will (Cinco dias sin Nora)

A master Machiavellian-style planner, an elderly woman named Nora has planned her death, down to the smallest detail. But even as she meticulously orchestrates the lives of those closest to her, most especially her ex-husband José, the contents of a mysterious photograph suggests other possibilities. (Vancouver International Film Festival 2009)

Set in Mexico City’s little-seen Jewish community, Nora’s Will is both sweet and sad, and wonderfully textured. José, who lives right across the street from his ex-wife, is the first person to discover her body, after her meat delivery is diverted to his apartment. Despite being divorced for some twenty years, José and Nora have kept close tabs on each other via binoculars. Determined to finally escape her controlling ways, José sets out to deliberately unravel Nora’s carefully laid plans, mixing-up her directives about the Passover dinner, ordering up a Catholic funeral service and searching for the truth behind the mysterious photograph.

As a diverse cast of characters, including Nora’s narrow-minded sister, her irritable housekeeper and a would-be rabbi begin to gather in her apartment, things get decidedly more complicated. As much an exploration of the familial bonds of love and history as it is an examination of faith Mariana Chenillo’s film is an irresistibly charming comedy that features many memorable characters. (MSPIFF)

(Spanish with English subtitles)

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