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I Was at Home, But...(Ich war zuhause, aber)

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Germany, Serbia · 2019
1h 45m
Director Angela Schanelec
Starring Maren Eggert, Franz Rogowski, Lilith Stangenberg, Jirka Zett
Genre Drama

Astrid is struggling to regain her balance in the wake of her husband’s death. Meanwhile, her son Phillip disappeared for a week and now that he has returned, his toe requires amputation. Beset by questions large and small, even simple activities like buying a bicycle or engaging with a work of art, are fraught with unexpected challenges.

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CineVue by

In another director’s hands this might all have been a bit of a slog but there is a quiet humor and lightness of touch to Schanelec’s direction and a self-effacing irony to Aistrid’s rambling that saves it from pure maudlinism.


The Film Stage by Ed Frankl

This is a film that stages itself in non-linear narratives, in severe, clinical long takes, in metaphorical observations, and even extended sequences of Shakespearean re-enactment–a film whose aesthetics may be intensely controlled and yet whose narrative is sprawling with meanings and readings.


Variety by Guy Lodge

I Was at Home, But… works as a mood piece in the truest sense of the term: once you stop trying to logically assemble the narrative and submit instead to its clashing, enveloping currents of feeling, they form a persuasive story of their own.


The A.V. Club by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

The filmmakers that Schanelec draws on for inspiration are all masters of one kind of economy or another. The problem is that Schanelec herself is not. Despite its austere, theory-heavy minimalism, I Was At Home, But… is lopsided and lumpy, filled with longueurs in which the brain begins to check out.


The New York Times by Manohla Dargis

In I Was at Home, but…, the German director Angela Schanelec seems to have taken her ideas and stashed them deep in a private vault. Every so often, though, she cracks open this movie — with a line, an image, a snatch of a song — offering you fugitive glimpses of an intensely personal world.


The New Yorker by Richard Brody

The emotional repression and intellectual stiffness that suffuse Angela Schanelec’s melancholy new drama are as much a matter of style as of substance.


Screen Daily by Wendy Ide

What’s both intriguing and enraging about the film is the fact that it so defiantly rejects the language of cinematic storytelling; this is a film which is intended to upend audience expectations.

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