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Markers: Films that push the boundaries of the documentary form

In 2008 a Black teenager died under mysterious circumstances in Bridgeport, Connecticut. This House, the stirring debut feature from Miryam Charles, an experimental Montreal filmmaker of Haitian descent, excavates this tragedy by way of a voyage through time and space. Less a true crime analysis of the past as much as a speculative version of the present and future, This House proposes dreamlike episodes of an impossible adulthood, with actors playing Tessa (Schelby Jean-Baptiste) and her bereaved mother (Florence Blain Mbaye). Shot on lush 16mm with an innovative and ambitious blend of documentary, essay and narrative, the film's indelible flow moves between Haiti, Montreal and New England, as well as liminal non-spaces filmed on a soundstage, with an imagined present and future eventually blurring with the filmmaker's personal memories. Enigmatic and exploratory, but never uncoupled from a very real emotional core, Charles's film not only confronts grief and loss head-on, but actively travels through it. Jesse Cumming

Credits

  • Director(s)

    • Miryam Charles
  • Producer(s)

    • Felix Dufour-Laperrière
  • Line Producer

    • Nellie Carrier
  • Cast

    • Florence Blain Mbaye
    • Schelby Jean-Baptiste
    • Eve Duranceau
    • Yardly Kavanagh
    • Mireille Métellus
    • Nadine Jean
    • Tracy Marcelin
    • Matthew Rankin
    • Miryam Charles
  • Writer(s)

    • Miryam Charles
  • Editor(s)

    • Xi Feng
  • Cinematography

    • Isabelle Stachtchenko
    • Miryam Charles
  • Composer

    • Romain Camiolo
    • Miryam Charles
  • Sound

    • Gordon Neil Allen
    • Olivier Calvert
    • Martin Messier
  • Production Designer(s)

    • Annick Marion
    • Georges Michael Fanfan

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