One man’s life ex­plored with hu­mor and sor­row

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - Showtime - Palm Beach - - MOVIES - By Mia Leonin

Early on in the Ar­gen­tinean film “El Úl­timo Traje” (The Last Suit), which makes its U.S. the­atri­cal de­but this week, a de­cep­tively quaint and hu­mor­ous scene takes place be­tween the film’s pro­tag­o­nist, 88- year- old Abra­ham Bursztein and his young grand­daugh­ter. The lit­tle girl re­fuses to join in a fam­ily photo with Abra­ham sur­rounded by his many grand­chil­dren. When he ca­joles and in­sists, the lit­tle girl curtly replies that she doesn’t like hav­ing her photo taken. Fi­nally, the two get down to brass tacks: she wants $1,000 for an iPhone 6.

What en­sues is a witty di­a­logue be­tween youth and old age, where the cunning and ex­pe­ri­ence of age seems to have won out, with Abra­ham hav­ing talked the girl down to $800. But the girl has the last laugh: “The phone only cost $800, so now I have an ex­tra $200,” she boasts. Abra­ham smiles, pinches her cheeks and de­clares, “You are my fa­vorite.”

Deftly por­trayed by

‘The Last Suit’

What: “El Úl­timo Traje” (The Last Suit), part of the Mi­ami Film Fes­ti­val When: Through March 29 Where: Tower The­ater, 1508 SW Eighth St., Mi­ami When: Through March 29 Where: AMC Aven­tura, 19501 Bis­cayne Blvd., Aven­tura; Movies of Del­ray, 7421 W. At­lantic Ave, Del­ray Beach, Info: the­last­; tow­erthe­; am­cthe­ Miguel Án­gel Solá, this early scene re­veals im­por­tant emo­tional in­for­ma­tion about Abra­ham: for him, love is a trans­ac­tion in which one is ei­ther on the win­ning or los­ing side. Writ­ten and directed by Pablo So­larz, we wit­ness Abra­ham, a Holo­caust survivor in de­te­ri­o­rat­ing health as he trav­els from Ar­gentina to Spain, through Ger­many, and ul­ti­mately to his birth­place in Poland in an at­tempt to rec­on­cile him­self with the past. But more im­por­tantly to de­liver a suit to per­haps the last per­son who showed him un­condi- tional love, Piotrek, his child­hood friend ( Jan Mayzel), who saved his life at the end of the war.

“The Last Suit,” in Span­ish, Ger­man, and Yid­dish with English sub­ti­tles, is a mod­ern-day trip into the un­der­world of the past. So­larz skill­fully weaves in flash­backs from Abra­ham’s youth and his painful ex­pe­ri­ences dur­ing the war, which he pairs this with the present-day petu­lant and pride­ful old man who on the sur­face is easy to dis­like.

The grav­ity of the sub­ject mat­ter is tem­pered by Abra­ham’s wry hu­mor and in Spain he meets his match with Maria, the pro­pri­etor of the ho­tel where he’s stay­ing. Bril­liantly played by Án­gela Molina, she is Abra­ham’s truth teller. She can lob barbs with the best of them and she won’t be charmed or swin­dled, so the two quickly cut through the ice and find true warmth and friend­ship.

“Suit” tra­verses land­scapes, cen­turies, and lan­guages only to re­mind us that while we all grow old, our sto­ries never do, nor does our de­sire to heal our deep­est wounds.

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