Anywhere Else, a girl lost in linguistic diversity
by Camillo De Marco
- Ester Amrami, with her first movie, films with skill and creativity, with attention to detail. She plays on clichés and gently tackles the theme of self-development in the world
Saudade, wabi-sabi, stam, toqborni, matje, ostranenie. These are words from various languages that have no equivalent in other languages. A dictionary of these non-translatable words is the basis of Noa’s (Neta Riskin) graduate thesis. From Israel and living in Berlin for eight years, she’s the protagonist of Anywhere Else [+see also:
interview: Ester Amrami
film profile] by Ester Amrami, in competition at the Bergamo Film Meeting.
A thesis that’s "more of a paradox than scientific", as described by her professor, who rejects it. Noa has a crisis (a word that in Ancient Greek means "decision"). And when you have a crisis you return home, to your family. While her German boyfriend Jörg (Golo Euler) goes on tour with his trombone, Noa hops on the first plane to Israel: sunshine, good food, mammy Woody Allen style (Hanna Laslo, Best Actress in Cannes in 2005 for Free Zone [+see also:
film profile] by Amos Gitai). Noa dives into her roots – amongst a rowing sister and younger brother on military service who wants to desert – but there’s also suffering for her grandmother, a survivor of the Shoah, who’s dying. And then Jörg arrives, anxious to understand if the crisis is about him. "The last thing grandmother needs at the moment is to have a German by her bedside", says the mother acidly. But this family, who in the young German’s eyes seems like a cage of madmen on psychotropic drugs, reveals all of its humanity, affection and support to a daughter lost in translation.
Ester Amrami, with her first movie following a direction course at the HFF Konrad Wolf in Potsdam-Babelsberg, films with skill and creativity, with attention to detail. She plays on the clichés and gently tackles the theme of self-development in the world. We like to believe that the dictionary that Noa Gutterman is working on is like film: a universal language with so much cultural diversity. A linguistic diversity that, to quote Hannah Arendt, is the changing ambiguity of our world.
(Translated from Italian)