Home When You Return

Home When You Return
dir. Carl Elsaesser/USA/2021/30 min.
Kinoteka, sala 2

“Stretching and blurring the boundaries of video essay, experimental film and home movie, traces of a 1950s homemade melodrama by amateur filmmaker Joan Thurber Baldwin intermingle with a mournful homage to the author’s grandmother and her vacated home. A powerful mélange of cinematic and domestic spaces, past and present.” – Kevin B Lee.

A double exposure, a portrait of a body, a house that oscillates between its narrative past and its literal presence. The melodramatic 1950s films of amateur filmmaker Joan Thurber Baldwin are psychically projected onto the house in which my grandmother raised seven kids, as it is cleaned out and put up for sale after she passed away. Upholding the narrative structures of melodrama that often center around men, even when the films are about women, the film asks the viewer, as Thurber says in her introduction, to pay attention to the peripheries.


  • projection time:
    30 min.
  • country/year:
    USA /2021
  • director:
    Carl Elsaesser
  • pictures:
    Carl Elsaesser, Joan Thurber Baldwin
  • production:
    Carl Elsaesser / Elsaesserfilms
  • festivals and awards:
    2022 – Berlinale IFF; 2022 – Cinema Du Réel FF

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