The Last Letter

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From fact to fiction. After making 33 documentary films in 35 years, Fredric Wiseman has turned his camera on something completely different: The fictional account of the final letter from a Jewish mother to her son. Wiseman’s film, “The Last Letter,” is drawn from the Soviet writer Vasily Grossman’s, “Love and Fate.”

It is a frightening account of anti-Semitic brutality, despair and loss. To convey it all, Wiseman, who’s known for his compelling combinations of real life sound and image, went minimalist. Black and white; no props; lots of shadows and just one actor, Catherine Samie. With her deep, enchanting voice, the senior member of the Comedie Francaise evokes distant and recent memories of human cruelty and compassion.

The Boston Jewish Film Festival is copresenter of “The Last Letter” directed by Frederick Wiseman, showing at the MFA, from February 26-March 30. Click the link below for exact show times.


Frederick Wiseman, Director of “The Last Letter.”