I Was at Home, But
(Ich war zuhause, aber)

Director in Person
$12 Special Event Tickets
Directed by Angela Schanelec.
With Thorbjörn Björnsson, Esther Buss, Martin Clausen.
Germany/Serbia , 2019, DCP, color, 105 min.
German with English subtitles.

What is probably Angela Schanelec’s most spiritual film acknowledges a formal continuity with The Dreamed Path, which was conceived at the same time. A thirteen-year-old boy reappears, almost like a ghost, after having given no word of his whereabouts for some time. We understand that he must have found refuge in the woods because of the traces of mud on his clothes, although the reasons behind his absence are unclear. The story is constructed elliptically, manifesting the same feeling of absence reflected in the narrative itself, a mirroring effect that is characteristic of Schanelec’s poetics. In her cinema, environments, characters and their reactions are drawn out via sets of reciprocal evocations, following one another like chain reaction. This is a film populated by elements that are familiar to its author as well as to us, her audience, that are profoundly original and unique nonetheless, embracing a continuity with her work and her universe. A simple beauty spreads out from the title, itself forging a link to an Ozu film from the 1930s, to every space in the frame. – Eva Sangiorgi

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