by Lefteris Fylaktos , Greece

Café-finovo is part of my Master Thesis for the M.A. program in Visual and Media Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin. With patience and beauty, our understanding of mortality is altered as this film unfolds on life, laughter and Wilhelm Grimm. Set within the walls of the Alter St. Matthäus cemetery in Berlin, we meet artists, story-tellers and grave sponsors—the cultural life revolving around the lively café-finovo and it’s reputable cakes. Café finovo is the first café in a cemetery in Germany. Berlin’s Alter St. Matthäus cemetery, which became famous as the final resting place of prominent figures of German life, including the brothers Grimm, frequently hosts activities that are far removed from death and mourning: literary mornings, concerts, art installations, botanical guided tours, school field trips, and of course enjoying the delicious pastries at café-finovo, the first café in Germany to operate in a cemetery. If cemeteries exist more for the sake of the living than for the dead, can we live better lives by accepting the certainty of our limits and our mortality? If the fear of death is simply a lack of familiarity with it, what better consolation than an unplanned, delightful and tasty walk through the cemetery?

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