Reviewed by: Ken James
“92 Minutes of Mr. Baum” goes down in history as the first Israeli-produced film I have ever seen. In fact, it was one of a series of films being shown at the local Israeli film festival, located in Cebu City in the Philippines. Many of the films are award winners in some category, this one included. While “92 Minutes…” brings up an interesting concept to think about (what would you do with the last hour and one-half of your life, conviced that you will die imminently?), I don’t think this film had answers for us. But perhaps that was not the intention of the filmmaker. But as we think of this question, I am forced to consider an answer.
For the non-Christian, this is always a fearful question… is there an eternity? A heaven or a hell? What will happen at the point of death? Even for the follower of Jesus it can be hard to imagine what one might do with their final minutes. What unfinished business would I feel pressed to attend to? Any grudges I hold against a family member or friends? Have I spent quality time with my children? Did I leave the house this morning with all problems resolved in my marriage? And most importantly, did I wisely use my time and resources in service to my Creator, God?
Mr. Baum thinks hard of what he must do. The film tackles this topic in a humorous way. Various comedic elements lead to good laughter from time to time. Naturally, a fantasy of the middle-aged Mr. Baum surfaces during his last minutes on earth. It never happens, but his fantasy still comes to life in the imagination. In reality, he clears up some last minute business; calls are made from his cell-phone to various family members; and time is spent doing routine jobs like picking up his daughter from school, getting stuck in heavy traffic, and stopping by the convenience store. All of this in the last 92 minutes of his life.
This film contains some non-sexual nudity (Mr. Baum in the shower with a full-body shot from the front), some profanity and foul language, plus some sexual elements (two encounters—one in a car while driving down the road, and one of Mr. Baum’s daughter and her boyfriend in a potential situation). No nudity is shown in these sexual encounters. There is also some innuendo throughout.
Year of Release—1997