I had the luck to watch “Mobile Homes” at the Athens International Film Festival tonight,and what an amazing chance that was. This film is a documentation of almost every aspect of humanly experience and angst, based on the one of the most fundamental ones: the search for a home. The main characters, a young mother and her son, fought against themselves to realize what a home actually is. Every time they came close to an answer, they would meet the perplexity of themselves and would find a way to run away, until they would be found in the same place again.
I did not want to write a review based on the scenes, or how the plot evolves, or how the characters move during the film. I couldn’t wait to get home so that I could make a mere effort to write down everything I felt and feared and waited and longed for along with the characters. The director, Vladimir de Fontenay, got us hooked (I could feel the whole cinema room vibrating) with his incredible ability to comprehend and portray the antithesis between danger and that homely feeling, between being tired and getting some rest in a motherly hug, between abandonment and that risk to reproach the one who abandons, between familiarity and cold and foreign spaces and neighborhoods and homes. I could find my self identifying with situations I have never been to, getting upset with faces I have never met and will never meet and caring so much about characters that were fictional. And I think that constitutes a great film: the intimacy it can build so that one can bring the characters into life, into one’s own life.
The director, in a Q & A after the film, claimed that he likes to write about worlds that are unknown to him, claiming that he can better connect to unfamiliarity this way. I feel like he managed to create a film that had us all connected into that same space, where we all are children of a mother, longing for familiarity and warmth, watching our bodies being created as they are shaped through painful and rigid realities.
If you too long for a home of your own, or even if you want to take a glimpse of what that search takes, this film is a must watch. It’s true, simple in its brilliant portrayal of family, moving, it gets you angry and upset but also protective and strong. You feel all the feelings and look for all the lookings.
p.s Mr Vladimir de Fontenay (the director) was so down to earth and spoke so beautifully, truly devoted his time to express what he felt and thought to his audience. Beautiful minds equal beautiful films.