Old tailor’s heartwarming odyssey fills out ‘Last Suit’

Miguel Angel Sola and Angela Molina in ‘The Last Suit.’


Abraham Bursztein (Miguel Ángel Solá) is clearly feeling bossed around by his children in the Buenos Aires home he’s lived in for 50 years. The Polish-born retired tailor is miffed when his favorite great-granddaughter, Micaela (Pilar Alegre Alonso) refuses to join in for a family photo. But his family, busily packing boxes, refuses to help persuade her. 

Gruffly, he barges out to the house’s courtyard and tries bluffing the stubborn girl, threatening to throw her out of his house if she doesn’t comply. 

“But it isn’t even your house any more, Zayde,” she counters. 

It’s true. Abraham’s family has decided, for his own good, that it is time for Zayde to move to a retirement home. They have picked one out, sold his house and now they are dividing up his possessions. What’s more, doctors want to amputate his bad right leg, which will put Abraham in a wheelchair. 


The old tailor is no longer in charge of his own life, or so it seems. When his longtime maid Paulina (Norma Argentina) finds a suit hanging in a garment bag at the back of a closet, Abraham gets an idea. He sends everyone away so he can be alone in his home for a last night. By morning, he has vanished, taking the suit with him, with plans to deliver it to the person who paid for it, in Poland, in 1945.

“The Last Suit” is a film that charms and amuses and then reaches into our hearts. It starts out like a delightful road picture, in which Abraham sets off on an adventure to the past. The journey takes him across the Atlantic to Spain, France, Germany and finally Poland, where Abraham’s goal is to find the childhood friend who saved his life and to whom he promised a suit. 

Starting on a rather comic note, the film gradually transforms into a moving tale of memory and human connections, as Abraham overcomes a series of mishaps and his own emotional obstacles, a transformation made seamless by a fine cast and strong direction.

Solá shines as Abraham, a nattily dressed and delightfully charming old rascal. The wily tailor is resourceful, but things sometimes go awry. In his travels, he encounters several people who help him along the way: a young musician, a jaded Spanish woman who runs a hotel, a  German traveler, a Polish nurse.

The film score features klezmer music, particularly delightful in an opening scene at a lively party in the past. The party scene turns out to be a childhood memory, and as Abraham travels across Europe, other memories return, ones less glowing than the party. The plot draws on elements from classic literature, even Shakespeare, but ultimately it rests on human connections. The power of human kindness becomes a running theme, one that follows Abraham to the film’s satisfying and touching ending.