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So Close to Home (2003)

  Directed by: Jessica Hobbs
Written by: Madeleine Blackwell
Starring: Arbenita Fejzullahu, Kerry Fox, Gillian Jones
Links: So Close to Home on the IMDb
Genre: Short
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Short Fiction Film 2004 (nominee)

This movie gets: 8.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Topical, but not" - a review by pearly

The mandatory detention of refugees entering into Australia is a hot topic of debate of late. There are a couple of films in contention for AFI awards for 2004 that are based on this topic. One of them is It's Like That, and another is this particular short fiction film, So Close to Home.

So Close to Home is more of a literal story, about a woman, Maggie (Kerry Fox) whose life is turned upside down when she meets a young girl on the train whilst on the way to visit her mother (Gillian Jones). That young girl is Azra (Arbenita Fejzullahu), an Albanian who seems a little lost. Maggie is a professional woman, recently split up from her partner but not willing to show her upset to anyone. Azra comes into her life and forces her to change, to become more emotional and to think more about others, rather than just living within the confines of her simple life.

It's a good looking and moving story, and one which doesn't preach about the rights and wrongs of a complex issue, but which instead presents a situation as one of many that may be going on all around us without us noticing. The issue is more of an aside rather than being the focus of the film, and the film is better for it. It's not social commentary, it's just the story of some fictional characters, with their lives being affected by the issues. This is one of the powerful things about the art medium; its ability to present a real look at something, without it necessary being an opinion (of course, there is usually some bias).

I enjoyed So Close to Home, but I thought that it was perhaps longer than it needed to be. The scenes in the middle where the mother held a party with her friends were not really central to the story, and could probably have been done without, which may have given the overall film a bit more punch. However, I thought that it was beautifully acted by the all-female lead cast, heading nicely towards the stunning conclusion.

pearly gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 27 Aug 2004

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Reader comments

  1. nic move

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from good on Fri 01 Apr 2005 06:11 #

  2. wery nice move i like so mache is the best move

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from lora on Tue 17 May 2005 08:42 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (2 ratings)

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