Get ready for a unique movie experience! That’s right – an unusual story, a bit of surrealism, wonderful acting and first class cinematography are the ingredients that make Home, a 2008 co-production of Switzerland, France and Belgium, a film well worth your time (especially if you happen to be fond of the European cinema).
An ordinary working class family, living at an ordinary location – an isolated country home on the edge of a highway.
The highway is under construction and not a single car has passed over it in the past ten years. Thus nothing has disturbed the existence of the family. They have even managed to incorporate the asphalt road into their day to day lives – playing roller hockey, eating out on the road and using the enormous lanes of the highway as a storage place for various household belongings (a sofa, satellite dish and even a sun bed on which one older daughter enjoys relaxing while listening to loud metal music).
No one lives around them to complain. The family consists of a father, mother, two daughters and a young son – living in peace away from the urban chaos.
That is, until one day the inevitable happens – the highway is about to re-open, taking away the peaceful existence of the family. All hell breaks loose – the noise and pollution of thousands of cars flying by only few meters from the family’s home. The family is now in danger of losing its sanity.
I enjoyed the film on many levels. The story itself could be seen as a metaphor for so called “progress”, which brings improvements in certain areas of our lives while, at the same time, inescapably takes away other things, which most of us don’t seem to notice. Or, perhaps, if we do notice we are too afraid that we may find ourselves in a traffic jam on the speedway of our own lives. The way in which the film is directed and the story is presented, the particular composition of the scenes and the resourceful acting differentiates Home from the conventional film by evoking an emotional response in its viewer while, at the same time, stimulating the desire to analyze the images one sees on screen.
Especially intriguing is the manner is which each of the family members deals with the change in their life which, in turn, allows the viewer to peek in the psychological make-up of the characters. The film’s director, Ursula Meier, gives some insight into the the inner world of the film’s character in an interview given for a site focusing on European cinema called Cineeuropa: “There are quite strong intimate ties between the characters, which will be revealed by the highway. It becomes the place where each one of the characters projects their own neurosis”.
Many people divide films into two categories – entertainment and work of art. Home can easily fit into either of them or in both. It is one of the few movies I am willing to watch over and over again and I highly recommend that you see it as well – at least once!
1. An interview with the film’s director Ursula Meier at Cineeuropa (link)