Capturing the Elderly Visiting Each Other

“Oma & Bella” is the indie film Alexa Karolinski (in bottom photo, below) made about her grandmother and her grandmother’s friend —two Holocaust survivors in their 80s —who live together in Berlin. They cook, talk about food, entertain friends and family, play cards and remember their parents, their losses and their coming to life again after the Holocaust, when they felt a need to get dressed up and party to make up for a youth they never experienced. Bella (left, in the images below) moved in with Regina (the Oma, or grandma, of the filmmaker) to help her recover from surgery, and just stayed. The pair are the envy of their elderly friends for hav- ing found this comfy solution to loneliness. (75 minutes, in German with English subtitles. omabella.com)

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The Refusal of Time: Visiting the Old Old

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As told to Susan Schnur