When New York Times reporter Andrew Jacobs heard that the Four Seasons Lodge, a Catskills bungalow colony he’d featured in a 2005 article, was slated to close after one more summer season, he was heartbroken. For more than a quarter-century, the colony had served as a gathering place for some 50 lodgers, virtually all of them Holocaust survivors now in their 80s and 90s. Together, they’d danced, caroused, played cards, prepared communal brunches, sunbathed, and shared memories good and bad. Jacobs decided the place, and its residents, needed to be documented before it was too late, and so he enlisted the help of cinematographer Albert Maysles and others to make a film.
Opening in New York City this week, the resulting documentary, Four Seasons Lodge, chronicles the day to day rhythms and occasional dramas that unfold over the course of a summer, and includes the reminiscinces of those who chose to share their wartime memories. Jacobs speaks with Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry about the making of the film, a few of his favorite characters, and what got left on the cutting room floor.