Home, Dom, Slovenian Documentary

Home, Dom, Slovenian Documentary
by Sherif Awad
One of the new films emerging from Slovenia this year is the
new documentary Dom (Home) by Slovenian director Metod Pevec who went to
portray the lives of some nineteen different young and old people living under
the same roof in a dormitory at Moste, a working-class suburb of the capital
Ljubljana. The street where the dorm lies is bearing the name of Vida Pregarc,
a Slovenian young woman from Trieste who was shot dead by fascists at the age
of 22 in August 1942.
Right now, each inhabitant of the dorm has a reason why he
or she moved there. For ex-workers, it was was the result of the privatization
process that this five-story building with three entrances became their home
after being originally built as a temporary resident for construction workers coming
from Bosnia. Upstairs, these lonely men who are in their middle-age now came as
young lads only to spend 30 years working on various construction sites across
Slovenia. When the construction companies they worked for went bankrupt, they
lost everything while their bankrupt employers owed them a lot of money. On the
first floor lives a group of adolescent girls who came from disturbed families
and who preferred the welfare youth dorm in order to continue their high
schools studies. Some other tenants found refuge there in this cheapest
accommodation facility, because they had been evicted from their former
apartments. The house is large, but for most of its residents, the
accommodation here means that they have just a bed and not much else. Nobody
calls it a home; they all thought it would be just a temporary solution, but
sometimes this temporariness is endless. The windows are without curtains with bare
walls and ceiling lamps with one light bulb without a shade that can be seen
when looking to the building from the outside. The faces of the residents that appears
in the window, tired, wrinkled, and absorbed in thoughts are captivated by the
director and his director of photography with beautiful yet heartbreaking
frames.
Through the different interviewees we meet some of the
students and some of the out-of-work men who describes their past and present.
At first glance, it seems that immigrant workers and delicate problematic
adolescents do not belong under the same roof, but it is obvious that a
workers’ suburb is a suitable place for the disposal of social problems.
Probably a silent social or political agreement has already been reached that
social issues should be kept away from elite residential areas. One of the
residents is a middle age woman who is smart to notice that the Slovenian TV
does not broadcast Slovenian films because they do not want the audience to
relive the social problems on broadcast. I got to share with her the same
thoughts because the best America and European films I watched on Satellite
were on the these two channels we receive in Egypt on the Hotbird European
satellite.

Before I accidentally met Metod Pevec in Pula Festival 2012
(Croatia) where we both served in two different juries, I discovered his early
features and documentaries including a documentary called Alexandrians
about the emigrating young Slovenian women who moved to Egypt during the early
20th century. After I published an article about the film, I was
contacted by a woman living in Denmark who has read the article and pointed it
out that one of the old photos published along with the article featured her
mother. It was great to see how can cinema nostalgically touches people so far
away and so close. 

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Sherif M. Awad
Sherif M. Awad
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