The Island

Adam Weingrod’s award-winning feature documentary is a stirring look at the inhabitants and workers of the St. Louis French Hospital—a Hospice for terminally ill patients—situated on the tense border between East and West Jerusalem. Employing a Frederick Wiseman-esque observational style, Weingrod’s soulful film inhabits this centuries old hospital over a period of two years as its workers tend to the critically ill inhabitants housed there, helping them to live out the remaining days of their lives with dignity.

While the film’s focus revolves around end-of-life care, it is far from dreary. Instead, finding great warmth, resonance and even joy in human interaction, even in this unlikeliest of places. This is a film that relishes the quiet moments of life, working from the assumption that these little moments—a shared laugh, an anecdote between workers, a hug, a routine act of kindness—build to something greater than the bigger milestones by which we often judge our lives.

The world outside the hospital is fraught with divisions, tensions and even war between the various religious and ethnic factions that inhabit the city. Within the walls of St. Louis French Hospital, Jews, Christians, and Muslims work together, finding meaning and camaraderie in their mission to bring comfort to those living out their final days. One exits this deeply moving film wishing that the caring dynamic on display inside hospital walls could be replicated outside its confines.

>> Short Synopsis <<

An intimate glimpse into the rich human mosaic of the St. Louis French Hospital- a Hospice for terminally ill patients, situated on the tense border between East and West Jerusalem across from the walls of the Old City. For two years the Director accompanied patients and caregivers – each one and his own story. In the film moments of humor and sadness from life itself between the hospital walls.

  • Adam Weingrod
  • Adam Weingrod
  • katia shepeliavaya
    1 Building and 40 People Dancing
  • Adam Weingrod
  • Rotem Dror
    Sound Design
    Presenting Princess Shaw (2015)
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Student
  • Runtime:
    59 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 11, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Arabic, English, French, German, Hebrew
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital Full HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Doc Aviv Film Festival
    Tel Aviv
    May 11, 2017
    Israel / World Premiere
  • The Israeli Documentary Filmmakers forum Award's
    Tel Aviv
    Best Student Film
  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    February 6, 2018
    International / North American
  • Ethnografilm Paris International Film Festival
    April 5, 2018
  • International Ethnographic Film Festival Quebec
    April 12, 2018
  • Thin Line International Film Festival
    Denton, Texas
    United States
    April 21, 2018
    Texas Premiere
  • Sehsüchte International Festival
    March 23, 2018
  • Göttingen International Ethnographic Film Festival
    May 11, 2018
  • SCENECS International Debut Film Festival
    July 28, 2018
    Dutch Golden Stone Award for best Documentary
  • Maryland Film Festival
    United States
    April 6, 2018
    MD premiere
    Official Selection
  • Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival
    Tel Aviv
    June 14, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Méditerranée Festival
    June 13, 2018
    Official Selection
  • WorldFest-Houston International Film & Video Festival
    United States
    Silver Remi
  • Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival
    June 26, 2018
  • Ischia Film Festival
    Ischia, Naples
    June 30, 2018
  • Southern Utah International Documentary Film Festival
    United States
  • DokuBaku International Documentary Film Festival
  • Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival
    November 7, 2018
    Best Debut Film Award
  • Outer Docs Film Festival
    United States
    November 11, 2018
    Out Of Bounds Award
  • Vancouver Jewish Film Festival
  • Jaipur International Film festival | India
    Winner RED ROSE Best Released Film
  • Kolkata International Film Festival
  • Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival
Director Biography - Adam Weingrod

Adam was born in the late 1980s to a family of artists in Jerusalem, Israel.
After completing his B.A. in music at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy where he majored in jazz and went on to perform all over the world, Adam returned to film, his original passion.
In 2016, Adam obtained his M.F.A. in film, graduating with Honors from Tel Aviv University. Adam directed, produced and edited "Funjoya" (16 min) which won the Audience Award at the Tel Aviv International Student Festival in 2016. Also in 2016, Adam received First Prize for Development from the CoPro Israeli Documentary Marketing Foundation for his film "The Island," which was supported later on by the main Israeli TV channel yes Docu, and premiered at the DocAviv Film Festival in 2017.

Currently Adam is working on two new Documentary films.
“Song of the Sampaguita”- The story of a seven year old girl who fled Natzi Germany to the only place that took her in, the Philippine Islands.
The film was chosen for the “Docu Start” lab 2017, funded by “The Israeli Documentary Filmmakers Forum” and “Gesher multicultural film fund”.
“At the Foot of the Volcano”- Danny lives on a “Kibutz” beside the Lebanese border, growing up in Israel he fought in all of Israel wars. Now at the age of 67 he retires and goes around the world searching for one question: “Why do people keep living underneath active Volcanoes?”
The Film started its principal shooting in Feb’ 2017 in Nicaragua and will continue in Jan’ 2018 in Japan and the Philippines.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Six years ago my mother decided to retrain as a "spiritual counselor" – a professional who often accompanies people facing imminent death. A spiritual counselor works with the elderly, with people of all ages who suffer from terminal illness, and often with children. I tried to comprehend why she chose this work. Over time, I began to deepen my understanding of what she does and why she does it, among the people who spend the end of their lives at the French Hospital. I discovered a hidden place, a kind of secret space that exists right in the middle of the world, and yet few of us dare to look into it.

After two weeks at the hospital my stomach felt like a wrung out rag, but as time passed, I began to relax. The longer I remained and allowed myself to ease into the reality at the hospital, the more the place infused my life with freedom and strength.

Following months of observing the LIFE in the hospital I understood that I had to make this film. I had to understand and capture this last part of life, which is equal to all the rest.

As a Jerusalemite born and raised, I suddenly saw the French Hospital as a metaphor for the city I wish Jerusalem could be. A place of peace and respect among human beings, granted as one human to another, regardless of the usual labels of religion, nationality, or race.