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Meet Regina Karolinski and Bella Katz, two octogenarian best buds who happen to be the subject of the documentary Oma and Bella. The film follows them in their daily lives, as they hang out, cook traditional Jewish food, spend time with friends, and reminisce.

Being Holocaust survivors, Regina and Bella both have stories worth hearing. There are so few survivors still left, and their first-hand accounts are irreplaceable. However, Regina and Bella talk about much more throughout the film: their husbands, their families, their friendship, and of course, food, which is what has truly bonded them over so many decades together. These two women have a contagious zest for life.

You will undoubtedly be charmed by this duo. They bicker one minute, and are laughing the next. They are true ladies about town: they play cards with their pals, get their hair done, and go for afternoon drinks. There is never a dull moment, as their lives and personalities are certainly big enough to fill the 75-minute running time. In fact, I would gladly watch another 75 minutes of these two.

My only gripe about this film is I felt like I needed more explanation when it came to who was who in the stories and photographs. Regina and Bella often spoke without much backstory, which is most likely a result of the director being Regina’s granddaughter. That being said, there is a level of intimacy and comfort that is also a result of the director being Regina’s granddaughter. I’ll take that trade off any day.

Is Oma and Bella Essential TJFF Viewing?

When it comes to documentaries, you’re either interested in the topic or you’re not. If Oma and Bella sounds like your kind of thing, then it is most definitely is, making it essential TJFF viewing. It is rare to see female friendship portrayed in such an honest and caring way, so this is a film to be treasured. It is reassuring to know that friends can last a lifetime.

Oma and Bella Screening Times 

More About This Movie

Oma and Bella  Trailer 

Oma and Bella  Production Gallery 

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