Distant Constellation

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Venture into a Turkish retirement home, where the mischievous, wistful, and life-hardened residents live out an almost absurdly cyclical existence, a place where time seems to hang still and notions of limbo lurk around every corner.

“Funny, startling and touching … dreamlike … an unusually warm, complex and illuminating picture.” – Hannah McGill, Sight & Sound

In front of director Shevaun Mizrahi’s immaculate, patient, meditative camera, there are stories of childhood pain, like the one the old Armenian lady tells in a whisper. She dozes off mid-sentence, and then comes back. ‘I drop like that,’ she says. A blind photographer fiddles with his flash as he points his own camera back at us. A pianist flirts with the filmmaker, and finally proposes to her, somewhat hesitant. Two men ride the elevator, up and down, talking about their families. Outside the retirement home, there’s a new building under construction, transforming the landscape that surrounds this oddly secluded space, and the young workers there talk about their future plans. In Distant Constellation, elderly denizens take refuge in their cherished memories, and move between resignation and hope, in an immaculately composed, poetic, and sometimes playful look at the aging process. (Dir. by Shevaun Mizrahi, 2017, Turkey/USA, in Turkish/English/French/Armenia with English subtitles, 80 mins., Not Rated).  Other festivals: London; Vienna; Locarno | Arizona Premiere