Here and There

Home is where the heart is

HERE AND THERE | Home is where the heart is

A sense of village shapes one’s perspective and  way of life through the way one relates with one’s surroundings. The four corners of a house collect memories, stories, and moments that one ought to cherish. But what if one memory departed and bounced off to different places, here and there, leading to one’s confused identity and alienation.

With the films in this session, characters are displaced, not knowing what lies beyond the new worlds they are bound to set foot in.

In Le départ (The Departure), the coming-of-age story, grasps each and every one of us in a way that lets us share the same experiences in one way or another. The film is simple but impactful. There is an escape from one’s familiarity, what was once called home, and the strong feeling of fear in the face of change. With a bit of inspiration from the 1986 film Stand By Me, we are put into the perspective of an 11-year-old boy as he realizes that the times are truly changing. He finds solace and wonder in his gang of friends and inspiration from his idol, the Olympic runner Hicham El Guerrouj. 

This straightforward narrative focuses on moving on from what he is used to. But how long can one truly hold onto something that’s broken? More so, what if there is something great that’s waiting outside one’s comfort zone?

On the other hand, Elong E’Nabe (A Brighter Future) is a poignant perspective of a mother’s dream and aspirations for her child. In an intimate and personal documentary style, the audience looks in through the perspective of Angela, a six-year-old Senegalese girl born in Belgium, living through a world with racism. However, hope for a brighter future awaits despite her current circumstances.

Moreover, as the title suggests, I Don’t Feel At Home Anywhere Anymore is the protagonist’s search for belonging and comfort in the place she once called home. The static placement of the camera exemplifies the observational mystique of the film. Much like home videos back in the day, this video diary recounts one’s memories and how it parallels to our protagonist’s return. 

A homecoming isn’t that pleasant for everyone. In Anita, the titular character returns home to India to marry her boyfriend while facing her family, centuries-old traditions and conversative views. There’s the sad reality of being alienated by an environment that once nurtured a child into this world. More so, the film highlights the dynamics of male-female relationships under the grips of the patriarchy and traditions. 

Change plays a role in questioning one’s status in the world. But to quote The Beatles, “I will be there, and everywhere.” Experiencing life is a rollercoaster ride of changes, you just have to be ready for whatever may arise.

Ralph Regis is currently a junior film student at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in Manila, Philippines.