// Presented as part of Filmatique's The Future is Female (Directors) Series //
Spotlight on Home
Exclusive Essay: Ursula Meier's Domestic Allegory Home Is Way Too Close
Ursula Meier / 2008, Cannes, BFI London, Bratislava, FIDMarseille, Mar del Plata, Melbourne, Palm Springs, Reykjavik, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Seattle, Stockholm / 98'
Along with her husband and two young daughters, Marthe lives in an eden of her own creation, nearly isolated from the rest of the world. The arrival of a construction vehicle, however, pierces their tranquil, hermetic existence—before long a disused highway has been re-opened, and the family finds their home situated in the midst of rush-hour traffic. While the privileges of clean air, quietude and privacy are thus denied them, Marthe remains determined to stay no matter the cost.
Steeped in a richly evocative, sensual world and attuned to the nuances of human behavior, Home lays bare the anxieties of those forced into contact with a relentlessly encroaching modernity. Ursula Meier's debut film premiered at Cannes' Semaine de la Critique, Stockholm, BFI London; Mar del Plata, where it won Best Actress and Best Cinematography; and Reykjavik, where it won the FIPRESCI Prize. Home was nominated for three César Awards, won the Swiss Film Award for Best Film, Best Screenplay, and Best Emerging Actor, and was Switzerland's official submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards.
"[A] bewitching dream of a film… Sometimes eerie, at other times playful and witty, it explores themes of modernity and primitivism without ever being heavy-handed. And as a portrait of a family under siege, it's as unsettling as it is sensual"
- Sukhdev Sandhu, Film Review, The Telegraph