Certificate of Life
Every year three women meet in an office in the German Consulate: Clara Reich, who survived the Holocaust, her daughter Hilda, and Heidi Rommel, the clerk handling their case. Always the same story: Clara is required to provide a “certificate of life” in order to continue receiving the reparation pension she is entitled to from the German government.
The regular bureaucratic procedure creates a series of encounters replete with pain and sharp humor: cynical, tough Clara is contemptuous of the rules, Heidi clings to them and wants to perform her duties in the best possible way, while sensitive, fragile Hilda attempts to bridge between the two, and endures barrages of insults and venom in the process.
Certificate of Life is a new play by award-winning Australian-Jewish playwright Ron Elisha.
A deeply moving and poignant drama about the charged encounter between Jews and Germans, between the first and second generation, between mothers and their daughters… An astute and very human observation of the power of memory and the consolation of forgetting.
“I have a certificate of life. Valid for a year. And if it states that I’m alive, then I’m alive. Understand? Which means they have to pay, to the last cent. I’ll empty every German pocket, so they don’t forget. Until I die” (Scene 4).
Cast: Sara von Schwarze, Gila Almagor, Odeya Koren