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Film Review: The Last Suit (El último traje)

Director:    Pablo Solarz

Cast:   Miguel Ángel Solá, Ángela Molina, Natalia Verbeke, Julia Beerhold, Olga Boladz

Rating:    PG

Running Time:     91


This film screened as part of the 2018 Jewish International Film Festival.  The Last Suit, the second feature by Argentinean filmmaker and writer Pablo Solarz, is a drama about a man who sees the end of his life – his age, his state of health and his family situation indicate this – and that he wants to make a final act of personal redemption, recover his lost steps in time and return to them, which is like coming back to face a painful past from which he fled, but which defined everything that was his later life.   

Abraham Bursztein (played by Buenos Aires actor Miguel Ángel Solá) and is a Jewish tailor who was born in Poland but settled in Argentina after the Second World War. He is a “zeide”, a cantankerous grandfather who resents that his daughters are going to commit him to a geriatric home.  The film has a hard time putting us on the side of its protagonist, who have endowed all clichés associated with the stingy and advantageous Jew, to which we must add a bad mood and pride that make it repellent at times. His determination is admirable. With nothing to lose, Abraham undertakes a sudden and impulsive trip to show that he is not as finished as they pretend to make him feel and that he still has time to settle accounts with life and reconcile with his memories. He starts a road movie that will take him to Europe and cross countries and meet several people who want to give him a hand, despite his attitude at all times.    

The film seeks to move and achieves it in the end, but I am concerned about the means it uses for that purpose. The cinema in one way or another manipulates our feelings, but when that purpose is already so deliberate that it affects and makes evident the seams of the story, I am afraid that such a film stops generating trust and causes more suspicion.


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