In 2011, Rabbi Ronnie Cahana suffered a devastating brainstem stroke that left him “locked in”, only able to communicate through the blinking of his eyes. In the years that followed, the beloved poet and community leader regained some power of speech but remained paralyzed, requiring round-the-clock assistance at a long-term-care facility in Montreal, Quebec. When the pandemic lockdown hit, he found himself completely isolated and cut off from his loved ones, connecting only through screens.
Cut off from his loved ones due to the pandemic lockdown, a quadriplegic rabbi in a long-term-care facility is filmed remotely by his daughter. Offering powerful meditations on love and hope, Perfecting the Art of Longing shows us what it means to be alive in a state of profound isolation.
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2021 | NFB