DocFest 2012: Day 2 – Global Home

No Film Festival within the SFIndieFest umbrella – be it IndieFest, Another Hole In The Head, or DocFest – would be complete without having to sit through at least one screening plagued with technical difficulties.  This time the glitches in the film (ahem, digital disc) included wrong language settings, displaced screen formatting, and partially missing subtitles.  It took the protectionist about 15 minutes before the movie was playing properly.

Once the problems were fixed, however, it then took another 10 minutes or so before I could truly get on board with German director/nomad Eva Stotz‘s documentary on globalization.  Were it not for her odd choice of visual aesthetics, giving the movie its amateurish feel during the opening moments, e.g., google earth maps, and that little white hand cursor clicking the icon of a crude spinning globe, this could have ended up being a flawless production from start to finish.  However, in stark contrast to the rest of the movie were the combination of brilliant editing choices, a very fitting soundtrack, and a slew full of moments where nature and humanity were brilliantly captured time and time again.

Aside from the way in which the images were presented, praise must also be doled out for the movie’s narrative.  The movie makes heavy use of the website CouchSurfing.org as a catalyst towards exploring other cultures.  Just as I was starting to feel like I was watching a giant ad for the website, I began to see the method in the madness.  Following one person as she couch surfs from nation to nation is a much more relatable and effective approach towards showing how globalization effects each and every person.  Especially more effective than say the more distant, time-lapsing, birds-eye-views of the polished films of Ron Frickle (Chronos (1985), Baraka (1992) and Samsara (2012)).

By the end of this movie I had forgiven both the protectionist’s and Stotz’s opening missteps, and was convinced that she was the real deal.  Her ability to constantly photograph what really matters rivals only that of the documentaries of Werner Herzog (La soufrière (1977), Patricio Guzmán (Nostalgia for the Light (2010) and Leonard Retel Helmrich (Position Among the Stars (2010).  It will be interesting to see what this talent has in store for us next.

More Showtimes for Global Home:

Friday, Nov. 16th 7:15pm (Roxie Theatre) & Tuesday, Nov. 20th 7:15pm (Roxie Theatre)

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