The idea and definition of “home” is brought into discussion by Caroline O’Brien’s short film Home. As the film begins, we are given the point of view of a homeless man (Michael Bienvenu), living in a building’s doorway. We see the coming-and-goings from his street corner, and hear the various conversations that take place within his earshot. Before too long, two men show up and collect the seemingly mute homeless man, taking him to a shelter, getting him cleaned up and give him some cash. The cash doesn’t last long, though, as the homeless man returns to his corner and buys time with the young prostitute (Rosemary Noelle Prejean) that frequents his spot. Only he’s not looking for sex…
Home is a stark look at an unfortunate everyday reality that somehow retains a powerful level of optimism. The various characters’ touchstones seem to be altered versions of the more classical definition of “home,” and where they’ve landed in life can also be traced back to what that definition originally was for them, and perhaps where they’ll be going next. And maybe the one person with the best grasp on what “home” means is the one who is considered homeless.
There’s other interpretations to be found within this film, and when the homeless man does speak his dialogue makes you wonder how much of it is what he’s been thinking, or whether he’s just parroting conversations that he has heard at his corner (and the film is worth a second look if you’re thinking along those lines). Additionally, the IMDb page lists character names that cast the entire short into another light which I hadn’t even thought to explore. And for a film that’s not even 15 minutes long, getting that much mileage out of various interpretations of the subject and actions onscreen just exemplifies how much quality is contained within Home.
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