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Oma & Bella

on Nov 20, 2012

A few years ago, Berlin-born Alexa Karolinski set out to make a cookbook project of her grandmother’s delicious Jewish dishes, but in capturing her warm, familial kitchen on camera as part of her research, she realized there was more to share than a few recipes. Oma & Bella, the feature documentary that resulted, is a touching portrait of two spirited characters — Alexa’s grandmother and her good friend and roommate Bella, a fellow Holocaust survivor. With practiced hands, they prepare meal after meal in their fully stocked West Berlin kitchen, all the while sharing engaging stories about their past. Some are endearing memories of dance clubs and heartthrobs, some very difficult recollections of their time spent in Nazi concentration camps. Their sincerity and outpouring of warmth are magnetic, and it is almost impossible not to fall in love with them by the end of the film. (Cate Smierciak)

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