Film Short Description:
2008. Bridgeport, Connecticut. A teenage girl is found dead in her room. Going between spaces geographical, mental and historical, the film explores concepts of identity, searching for a ‘maison’ (house) to shelter a complex identity.
As a first-generation immigrant caught between Haiti and Quebec, director Miryam Charles uses the film to negotiate how transnational locales have shaped her identity. Her cousin’s death in 2008 serves as a harrowing backdrop that interrogates its impact through recollections and inventions with memory. Paralleling Quebec’s own struggles with independence, the film also broaches complex questions on citizenship and nationalism.
Cette Maison’s journey through these narratives mirrors the conflicted identity explored within the film. Charles charts the tenuous relationship between space and selfhood through a creative deconstruction of her film sets. Furthermore, through a narrative structure that dynamically navigates between past, present, and future, Charles demonstrates the impact of time on one’s identity. With the complex balancing of all these spatial and temporal identities, perhaps the only place of synthesis could be referenced within the demonstrative of the title 'Cette’ (This): cinema as a house for complex identities, and a sanctuary for memories and selves.