01 Mar “Where are you from again?” by Benjamin Freemantle
“Where are you from again?” is an intimate psychological portrait of a girl struggling with the silent and fundamental revolutions that every phase of life brings with it. What is striking in Benjamin Freemantle’s film is certainly the delicacy with which the emotional traits of Helen, the protagonist, are outlined as she navigates between fears, failures and hopes. In the space of just 13 minutes, Freemantle manages to focus on an authentic, sincere character, who at various levels seems to empathize with each of us. The narrative of the film seems to proceed following Helen’s inner turmoil and her reflections, with particular attention to the subtle nuances that govern communication and human relationships. The “plot” seems like a superfluous accessory at this point, and the great events in the story are wonderfully enhanced by Helen’s gaze and her deep connection with her surroundings.
In “Where are you from again?” life belongs to people, and it detaches itself from that chaos of everyday life in which things just seem to “happen”. From this intimate perspective, however, reality is not deformed or canceled: on the contrary, for Freemantle this film is an opportunity to address urgencies and reflections of great value for contemporary society. In fact, the film seems to trace a poetic trajectory on the theme of identity, observing it from human, cultural and social points of view. Naturally, the suggestions and needs of Freemantle’s vision are also expressed through a strongly cinematic language. Cinematography, for example, seems to illuminate faces and objects with softness and intangibility, bringing the images back into a delicately human context. Finally, it is impossible not to mention the skill of the leading actress, Maria Müller, who manages to collect and express the poetic height of the director’s vision. It is therefore not surprising that Müller is also the author of the splendid screenplay. In short, every element of the staging seems to move towards a higher meaning, which defines reality first of all as a human experience, alive and vibrant.
More than a film, this work is a symphony.