Set in Antwerp, Belgium, in the early 70's Chaja, a young
philosophy student, supports herself doing odd jobs while
attending University. She has a complex relationship with her
parents, both survivers of the concentration camps. Her mother
denies the past completely and her father spends his time
searching for two suitcases he buried before the war.
A family friend, Mr. Apfelschnitt,helps her secure a job as a
nanny with Mr. and Mrs. Kalman, a Hassidic Jewish family. Their
world is alien to the liberated Chaja. However, one of the three
boys in her care, five year old Simcha, with his mischievous
charm, steals her heart. He doesn't talk, though there is no
explanation for his silence. As they become closer, Chaja realizes
that Simcha can talk, but simply prefers to remain silent. Chaja
decides to take on the mission of eaching Simcha to speak. She
wants his father to be proud of his son.
Despite the minefield of customs and prejudice she encounters,
the love between Chaja and Simcha crosses all barriers. Through
her love for the family's five year old son, she learns to accept
and respect a culture steeped in traditions, finding the true
values of life.
LEFT LUGGAGE is Jeroen Krabbe's feature film debut.