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‘Let me dream you into my reality’: memories illuminate an unthinkable isolation

Following a brain-stem stroke in 2011, the Canadian rabbi and poet Ronnie Cahana lost the use of his limbs and moved into a long-term care facility. Nine years later, with his body especially vulnerable when COVID-19 began to take hold, he was forced to spend two years in nearly unbroken isolation. Filmed remotely by his daughter, the filmmaker Kitra Cahana, the short documentary Perfecting the Art of Longing profiles her father as he surveys this period of solitude from his bed, away from the love of his family, and especially his wife Karen. Exercising his extraordinary poetic talents from one small room, Cahana describes his feelings of loneliness as a gnawing physical sensation felt throughout the entire body, and reflects on how he’s able to find some solace in the warmth of his memories.

Director: Kitra Cahana

Producers: Kat Baulu, Ariel Nasr

Website: National Film Board of Canada

15 August 2022
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