29 user 28 critic

Left Luggage (1998)

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


Jeroen Krabbé


Carl Friedman (novel), Edwin de Vries

On Disc

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5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Laura Fraser ... Chaya Silberschmidt
Adam Monty Adam Monty ... Simcha Kalman
Isabella Rossellini ... Mrs. Kalman
Jeroen Krabbé ... Mr. Kalman
Topol ... Yacov Apfelschnitt (as Chaim Topol)
Marianne Sägebrecht ... Mrs. Silberschmidt, Chaya's Mother (as Marianne Saegebrecht)
Maximilian Schell ... Mr. Silberschmidt, Chaya's Father
David Bradley ... Concierge
Heather Weeks Heather Weeks ... Sofie
Miriam Margolyes ... Mrs. Goldman
Lex Goudsmit Lex Goudsmit ... Mr. Goldman
Krijn ter Braak Krijn ter Braak ... Grandfather
Mieke Verheyden Mieke Verheyden ... Grandmother (as Mieke Verheijden)
Noura Van der Berg Noura Van der Berg ... Selma
Lana Broekaert 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:

View content advisory »



Netherlands | UK | Belgium | USA


English | Hebrew | Yiddish

Release Date:

30 March 1998 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

À la recherche du passé See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,598, 24 September 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$100,544, 26 November 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR


Color (Cinecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film marked the directorial debut of Jeroen Krabbé for a theatrical feature, the first producer credit for Ate de Jong, as well as the first solo screenplay credit for Edwin de Vries. See more »


Mrs. Silberschmidt, Chaya's Mother: It's not the luggage he lost in that filthy war, it was himself.
See more »


Referenced in Ausverkauft! (1999) See more »


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

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User Reviews

one of the best movies I've seen in a long time
28 January 2006 | by Goon-2See all my reviews

I wanted to see this when it came out in the late 1990s, but thanks to the ridiculously limited distribution this movie had in the United States, I was unable to do so until late 2005 (it was my first 'netflick'). Be as it may, it was well worth the wait.

In short: there was really nothing about this movie I didn't like (except the nudity was not necessary and keeps this from being a movie the whole family could watch) Excellent characters (and I was NOT expecting to like "Chaya" at all!),excellent acting, excellent story teller, wonderful, brilliantly subtle film-making (especially the "window shot" towards the end)...overall, a wonderful, meaningful film that I am quite glad I was finally able to see!

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