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You Are Here

By Terry Sherwood | June 24, 2024

DANCES WITH FILMS 2024 REVIEW! ‘The medieval philosophers were right. Man is the center of the universe. We stand in the middle of infinity between outer and inner space, and there’s no limit to either.’ Those words are from Arthur Kennedy’s character Dr Duval in the brilliant yet forgotten Science fiction film Fantastic Voyage when the craft entered the Human Brain.  While not that scale of the unfathomable mind, one perception of existence is put into play in a fun yet profound way. Insurance salesman Peter Kleebold, in the Mike Friberg-written and directed short film You Are Here, gets a lesson in humility and what it means to be on the Human Journey.

Like the animated feature, Cosmic Zoom concentrated on a mosquito first going inward to blood vessels, etc., and cells, then outward to the Universe and beyond. The film opens in a busy insurance office with Peter Kleebold (Lehi Falepapalangi) on the phone with a client, making deals.  He is explaining the rates and material that he has done many times before, confidently not making headway. Kleebold becomes enamored with the fact that he finds that there are millions of stars in the galaxy. Co-workers assure him that this fact is known yet unknown to him, plus there is a much larger thing called the Universe. Mystified, no longer concerned regarding the deals and work, he strolls out of the office and wonders aloud to an employee why they eat nothing but microwaved broccoli.

Driving in his car, Kleebold is unable to comprehend the vastness of existence, muttering to himself and eventually ending up on a sand dune weeping. The journey he has taken like an elastic band retracts, making him a better person and more tolerant of the people who eat microwave broccoli.

“…gets a lesson in humility, and what it means to be on the Human Journey.”

You are here giving one person a moment to find out where they stand in their life and, in this case, the universe. Mike Friberg has fun with the topic that we have all thought of, yet it goes deeper.  People cannot comprehend the vastness of this planet or come to terms with worldwide trouble such as a pandemic or an armed conflict. Your neighbourhood, your home, and sometimes your rooms are easier to control and understand since you can’t see the event.   I can’t see evidence of something; therefore, it doesn’t exist.

Occasionally, if a thought breaks through, as in the case of Peter Kleebold, it causes distress, shock, and almost a seizing of the mind when you look at what you are doing and why. Friberg puts the end of the film in the desert, which recalls the Christian ethos of Jesus in the desert or Charlton Heston as George Taylor on the beach in Planet of the Apes, screaming profanity at the fact that his world is destroyed.  Those are examples of purification and realization of one place, like what happens to our intrepid insurance salesman, making him a better person.

You Are Here is wonderfully cast with actors Lehi Makisi Falepapalangi, Bridget Elsabe Galanis, Annie Flowers, and Cameron Sawyer, all as everyday office people.  Personalities come through such humor when Kleebold tirades on about the stars, and smiles break out. The dialogue flows naturally, almost to the point of condescension of the office staff to their boss’s sudden awakening.  It is a fun yet profound moment with the modest scene of the mystified insurance salesman suddenly discovering himself.  The ‘himself’ is the key part of the journey, even if it’s something as simple as tolerating others who eat broccoli.

You Are Here screened at the 2024 Dances With Films.

You Are Here (2024)

Directed and Written: Michael Friberg

Starring: Lehi Falepapalangi, Bridget Galanis, Annie Flowers, Cameron Sawyer, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

You Are Here Image

"…one perception of existence is put into play in a fun, yet profound way..."

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