Oma & Bella | Chicago Reader

Oma & Bella

76 minutes 2013

Sweet but minor, this intimate documentary profiles two cheerful Jewish grandmothers, both Holocaust survivors, in Berlin. Director Alexa Karolinski observes the lifelong friends as they mill about their shared apartment, cracking jokes and reminiscing about their past as they prepare various dishes. Happy memories abound, but every conversation trails back to their horrific memories of various concentration camps. Reverent toward her subjects, Karolinski allows the women to broach difficult subjects on their own terms; her approach results in some uneven pacing, but the subjects compensate for any formal shortcomings. In German with subtitles.

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