Short Documentary Review: A Monologue About Home (2022) by Guligo Jia

Guligo Jia’s quick documentary “A Monologue about House” is part of the New Asia Filmmakers Collective’s anti-war initiative “Towards The Warfare, In The Identify Of Cinema.” In it, the Chinese language director interviews a Ukrainian man, Mark, from Russo-Ukrainian heritage who presently research in Beijing.

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Guligo Jia decides to stay to the basic substances of documentary filmmaking, particularly speaking head interviews with Mark, interspersed with footage of him in his Beijing condominium, in addition to archival and information footage from Ukraine. And this works for almost all of this twelve minute quick as a result of it manages to make us really feel near him, each by means of what he says and likewise the best way he acts in the direction of us.

In fact, there are some imperfections within the presentation of this quick, reminiscent of too predictable cuts and audio clips used for eliciting fast emotional responses. However that’s to be anticipated for a documentary that was made in such a short while, and which goals at making us relate with Mark’s longing and fear for house. And nonetheless, this very direct and apparent connecting of footage and voice typically works to attain very fascinating issues. Like how the despair and rubble after the dissolution of the USSR is contrasted with the destruction after the Russian invasion. It’s as if in a single day, Ukraine’s historical past and prosperity has gone again at the least three a long time.

To start with of the quick, Mark is a bit indifferent from us, sitting a bit away from the digicam, telling about his childhood in post-USSR Ukraine. Nevertheless, as he spends extra time with the director and her digicam, he begins to open up extra, particularly when he begins talking concerning the present Russian invasion, his hometown Nikolaev, and his mother and father who’re nonetheless there. He begins smoking or strolling round his condominium in a nervous hurry, desirous about and worrying about Ukraine. By the tip, he cooks a meal for the director, in a approach accepting her as a pal and shattering the gap between director, topic, and viewer. Very transferring in its simplicity and ease.

“A Monologue about House” would have been way more impactful if it ended with Mark and Jia consuming collectively a meal the younger man has most likely realized from his beloved mom. Each of them silently reenacting the candy reminiscences of house he shares with us whereas cooking the meal. Nevertheless, she decides to conclude the quick with a short dance that feels compelled and lowered the heat and sympathy the film has managed to create in its temporary runtime.

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