Up 729 this week

Left Luggage (1998)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  30 March 1998 (Netherlands)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,468 users   Metascore: 51/100
Reviews: 30 user | 28 critic | 15 from

Against a background of holocaust memories, a liberal Jewish girl becomes the nanny to a retarded strict Jewish young boy, and grows fond of him.



0Check in

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 11 Jul 2012
a list of 26 titles
created 25 Feb 2013
a list of 26 titles
created 08 Mar 2014
a list of 35 titles
created 8 months ago
a list of 537 titles
created 7 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Left Luggage" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Left Luggage (1998)

Left Luggage (1998) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Left Luggage.
5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

God is disappointed with the human race and wants his stone tablets back. An angel is given the assignment and, with Gabriëls help, tries to manipulate several humans on earth to get his ... See full summary »

Director: Jeroen Krabbé
Stars: Maureen Lipman, Will Bowden, Jeroen Krabbé
Il cielo cade (2000)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

1943, an estate north of Firenze. The weight of the world is on the shoulders of Penny, who's about 10. An orphan, she must watch over her little sister when they go to live with her aunt ... See full summary »

Directors: Andrea Frazzi, Antonio Frazzi
Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Jeroen Krabbé, Barbara Enrichi
Zelly and Me (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young orphan who lives with her grandmother in a large Virginian home infatuates herself with the voices of Joan d'Arc. Her nanny seeks out the help of a rich suitor (David Lynch's first ... See full summary »

Director: Tina Rathborne
Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Alexandra Johnes, Glynis Johns
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Giorgio Ferrara
Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Tom Conti, James Wilby
Ivory Hunters (TV Movie 1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

An author discovers that his missing research assistant's disappearance may be related to illegal trade in ivory tusks.

Director: Joseph Sargent
Stars: John Lithgow, Isabella Rossellini, James Earl Jones
Lies of the Twins (TV Movie 1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A model becomes romantically involved with her therapist. One day she sees him with another woman, it turns out to be his evil twin, who is also a therapist. Complications ensue.

Director: Tim Hunter
Stars: Aidan Quinn, Isabella Rossellini, Iman
Crime of the Century (TV Movie 1996)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In 1932, the nation was shocked when the 14-month-old son of Charles Lindberg was kidnapped, held for ransom, and murdered. Two years later, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was arrested, convicted,... See full summary »

Director: Mark Rydell
Stars: Stephen Rea, Isabella Rossellini, J.T. Walsh
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Director: Jean-Charles Tacchella
Stars: Richard Bohringer, Isabella Rossellini, Marianne Basler
Het dagboek van Anne Frank (TV Movie 1985)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Directors: Jeroen Krabbé, Hank Onrust
Stars: Jip Wijngaarden, Jeroen Krabbé, Truus te Selle
Time Elevator (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A virtual roller coaster ride narrated by "Fiddler on the Roof" stage and film star Chaim Topol, this experience is a ride through the 3000 year history of Jerusalem. A semi-virtual ... See full summary »

Director: Ehud Baruch Ben Zakkai
Stars: Topol
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An army sergeant (Topol) narrates in flash-backs his love adventures with several women, including some women soldiers.

Director: Uri Zohar
Stars: Topol, Naomi Chance, Galia Gofer
Filthy Gorgeous (TV Movie 2006)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Filthy Gorgeous is drama set at an elite New York Escort Service. The show follows the male and female escorts and their high society clients. It exposes the gritty and not often seen side ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Allan Ackerman
Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Eva Simon


Cast overview, first billed only:
Chaya Silberschmidt
Adam Monty ...
Simcha Kalman
Mrs. Kalman
Mr. Kalman
Yacov Apfelschnitt (as Chaim Topol)
Mrs. Silberschmidt, Chaya's Mother (as Marianne Saegebrecht)
Mr. Silberschmidt, Chaya's Father
Heather Weeks ...
Mrs. Goldman
Lex Goudsmit ...
Mr. Goldman
Krijn ter Braak ...
Mieke Verheyden ...
Grandmother (as Mieke Verheijden)
Noura Van der Berg ...
Lana Broekaert ...
Chaya (7 Years)


While escaping from Nazis during the WWII, a Jewish man dug suitcases full of things dear to his heart in the ground two. The war deprived him of his family, and afterwards he endlessly turns over the soil of Antwerp to find the suitcases, which makes him look obsessed. He keeps checking old maps and keeps digging, trying to find, in fact, those he lost. His daughter Chaya is a beautiful modern girl looking for a part-time job. She finds a place as a nanny in the strictly observant Chassidic family with many children, although her secular manners clearly fly in the face of many commandments. One of the reasons she is accepted is that mother of the family is absolutely overburdened by the household, so she stays despite the resistance of the father, normally - an indisputable authority in the family. She develops a special bond with the youngest of the boys, four-year old Simcha, so far incapable of speaking. She teaches him while walking in the park, and it seems that during the ... Written by Yan Mazor & M.Ivanov

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | |


| |

Release Date:

30 March 1998 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

À la recherche du passé  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,598 (USA) (22 September 2000)


$100,544 (USA) (24 November 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Chaya Silberschmidt: No cinema, no radio, no theater, no television. Not much fun then.
See more »


Referenced in Ausverkauft! (1999) See more »


Music box theme
from "Trois Gymnopédies"
Composed by Erik Satie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Charming though sometimes depressing
21 March 2006 | by See all my reviews

The movie starts with a father telling his young daughter Chaya the story of how he had to escape from the Germans carrying everything he had in only two suitcases. Eventually, he had to bury the suitcases because he couldn't carry them any more as he kept running from place to place.

The loud rock music and the protests reminiscent of 1960s America tell us times have changed. And despite the somber opening, the movie takes a comic turn rather quickly, though it is far from a comedy.

In 1972 Antwerp, Chaya is a sweet, pretty 20-year-old philosophy student who does have a temper when riled. She quits her latest job at a restaurant after a prank (if you don't care for 'Fear Factor' and you have the ability to fast-forward, use it here).

Chaya visits her parents and finds out her father has still not given up on finding his suitcases. He has a map, but the area has changed so much. She is getting tired of hearing the story. Meanwhile, her kindly mother continues baking cakes. We also find out later she is making waterproof blankets with a loom.

With her landlady frustrated about all the delays with receiving rent money, Chaya must find a job soon. Mr. Apfelschnitt knows of a job as a nanny with a Hasidic family, the Kalmans. Chaya, despite being Jewish by birth, claims to hate Jews (though she is good friends with Mr. Apfelschnitt, who wears a yarmulke). But her desperation leads her to try.

Hasidic Jews are like the Amish and the Mennonites in Christianity--very strict, shunning many modern conveniences. And the minute she arrives at the third-floor apartment, Mrs. Kalman starts explaining those rules. Her husband's bedroom is off-limits, for example. And Chaya should dress like a woman; she is wearing jeans. Among the family's five children is Simcha, who is four but has never talked, but he and Chaya immediately make a connection.

The rules become too much for Chaya and she quits, but she accidentally takes something with her that belongs to the Kalmans, and she must return it. When she sees Simcha again, she knows she can't leave.

Chaya must work through the difficulties of life in the Hasidic culture, among other problems. One of her obstacles is the evil concierge, who constantly claims the elevator is out of order. In fact, he hates Jews with a passion and doesn't want them to ride it. He calls them lazy, ranting about how HE has to work. His only friend seems to be his dog. The concierge's evil behavior provides the film with many of its comic moments.

Eventually, Chaya makes a breakthrough with Simcha, as Annie Sullivan did. But her modern attitude is out of place here, and her desire to see people treated with respect is not appreciated. Also, she is called a 'Gomer' (meaning harlot, though a stronger word was used) when she finally dresses like a woman. In 1972, a lot of women wore scandalously short skirts.

A tragedy threatens to keep this movie from having a happy ending. The event does offer more insights into Hasidic culture, though, and leads to some good acting and writing. The last scene with dialogue is a happy and even humorous one, though, but this is followed by depressing music and scenery that reminds us of change.

If this movie had been done in the language of the people depicted, I believe it would have been worthy of a foreign-language Oscar. Being in English, it probably had too much competition that was better-known. But Laura Fraser did a fine job as Chaya. She showed such charm and such determination, and effectively showed us many emotions.

Adam Monty made an immediate impression as the young Simcha, giving a winning performance even without saying a word, and still impressing once he talked. The movie's best scenes were those with him and Chaya.

Topol also did a fine job as Mr. Apfelschnitt. Everyone in a leading role gave a good performance--Maximilian Schell as Chaya's father, Isabella Rossellini as the Hasidic mother particularly. I will also single out Jeroen Krabbe as the Hasidic father, who could be loving and even happy despite his often strict and often angry demeanor. But his best moment came as he described what happened to his family during World War II.

I also must mention David Bradley as the concierge, who actually showed a human side.

Was this a family movie? Perhaps. There were a few dirty words, and references to the promiscuity of Chaya's roommate, but maybe this was not any worse than two episodes of '7th Heaven'. There was also a skinny-dipping scene with Chaya and her roommate, but we didn't really get to see anything (unless this was edited for TV).

There are references to the Holocaust, and one really scary moment with the concierge, though it is followed by the funniest moment in the movie.

The educational value of the film may outweigh other considerations. We learn a lot more about the Hasidic than I ever knew, and as depicted here, they are not the uptight people some believe them to be, despite all their rules.

This was an outstanding effort.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
what other similar films? tana_ricky
suitcases caARACER
Duck pond location yourmommyatemydog
Discuss Left Luggage (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: