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Coffee Beans for a Life (Mein Ueberleben in Kolbuszowa)

Coffee Beans for a Life
Scene from "Coffee Beans for a Life"

Norman Salsitz was born 84 years ago as Naftali Saleschuetz, the youngest son of a large Jewish family. In 1945 he immigrated to the US and only now he returns to Kolbuszowa, the town he still calls “Heimat” in his heart, together with his daughter and grandsons. He sees the concentration camp Belzec where nearly his whole family was murdered; he visits his former home, now a shop run by Poles; he shows the place where his father was shot and the graveyard where he was buried. He remembers and shares his memories – also of how he became guilty, how he survived and how he took revenge. He still feels anger, with God – why did he let it happen? – and with his Polish neighbors – why didn’t we fight the Germans together? Norman’s honest character and precise memory, his curiosity and his frankness create an unusual picture of cruelty and sympathy, fear and hope, yearning, disappointment and love.
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2005
Director Helga Hirsch
Screenplay Helga Hirsch
Cinematography Albert Maysles, Piotr Lenar
Kararzyna Maciejko
Jossif Gofenberg
Cast Naftali Saleschuetz
Producer Andreas Goldstein
Production Company Next Film, in co-production with RBB, Maysles Film/New York
Runtime 90 min
Format 16 mm, color
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Stereo
Festivals Montreal New 2005, FIPATEL Biarritz 2006
With backing from BKM
German Distributor STUDIOCANAL/Berlin

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