I’m not sure if this documentary will ever appear in your hometown, but if it does, please don’t miss it. “The Last Resort” is a film about the thousands of Jewish retirees, many of them Holocaust survivors, who lived in South Beach in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
We attended a red carpet ceremony for the movie tonight at the Coral Gables Art Cinema. It was simply wonderful to be reminded how South Beach became home to the largest group of older Jewish people in the U.S. during the 70s. The movie referred to the area as the “shtetl under the sun.” Yiddish was the main language.
The movie was co-directed by Miami residents Dennis Scholl and Kareem Tabsch. They featured photographers Andy Sweet and Gary Monroe, two Miami Beach college graduates, who wanted to document the old-world Jewish community that had taken hold in their hometown. They took thousands of photos. Unfortunately, Sweet was murdered in his early 30s. A recently published coffee table book features their story and photographs. (Thank you Gail and Dawn for my copy).
The documentary also included interviews with Miami locals including historian Susan Gladstone, former Miami Herald reporter Edna Buchanan, filmmaker Kelly Reichardt and Books & Books founder Mitchell Kaplan.
Look closely. One of these seniors could belong to you.