The Last Suit (El último traje) (NR)

Drama 86 min. September 21, 2018
By Karen Han
For a while, The Last Suit doesn’t quite seem to know what it wants to be. The overall umbrella of the story has already been unfolded — the film follows 88-year-old Holocaust survivor Abraham Bursztein (Miguel Ángel Solá) as he tries to wrap up some unfinished business. But there are extra threads leading here and there, including one about a semi-mentorship and another dangling toward romantic comedy territory. That it coheres is down to Solá, who manages to elevate the film beyond the trifle it might have been.

Written and directed by Pablo Solarz, the film touches on the lasting effects of trauma (both on people and on entire countries) with persuasive thoughtfulness. As Bursztein’s journey takes him from Argentina to Poland (a country with a name he’s refused to say for seven decades), he passes through Germany. Though times have changed, he’s still harrowed by the experience. The events he’s lived through can’t be so easily relegated to the past as the people around him seem to think.

If there’s one thread that remains glaringly untied, it’s that of Bursztein’s family, who spur his journey when they sell his house out from under him. Their place in the story is clear — they contribute to Bursztein’s sense of displacement — but The Last Suit forgoes resolution with them in favor of shuttling Bursztein to his journey’s end. Fortunately, however, Solá sticks the landing.
Pablo Solarz Miguel Ángel Solá, Ángela Molina, Martín Piroyansky, Natalia Verbeke Pablo Solarz Mariela Besuievsky, Julia Di Veroli Outsider Pictures

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