Canada / 2022
75 min. / Original version with English subtitles
French, Haitian Creole
Tessa was born in Stamford in 1994 and died in Bridgeport in 2008; her death tore open the present, changed the course of the past, snatched away a future. Such a loss may be impossible to grasp, but CETTE MAISON suggests it can perhaps be encircled, by following the lines traced by all three temporalities, rippling together around the gaping void. The future that didn’t happen takes the lead here, with Tessa seen as the young woman she never became, conducting oneiric conversations with her mother long after the event, watching over its wrenching aftermath and revisiting the stations of her family’s migration. Haiti, Canada and the US form another trio here, the seamless shifts through time in immaculate correspondence with the fluid movements through space. A tropical coastline and an island that seems to float on the horizon, rain-speckled car windows in Connecticut, referendum results in a Laval living room; everything leaves a trace on 16mm, even invention. It’s enigmatic, and it’s wrenching, and it won’t ever stop, but there is comfort too. For what else can create such a perfectly limitless space for mourning but cinema? Everything is possible here. (James Lattimer)
Miryam Charles, born in 1984 in Montreal, Canada. She completed a degree in film studies and works as a writer, director, producer and cinematographer. Following a number of short films, Cette maison is her feature debut.
Production Félix Dufour-Laperrière. Production company Embuscade Films (Montreal, Canada). Written and directed by Miryam Charles. Cinematography Isabelle Stachtchenko. Editing Xi Feng. Music Romain Camiolo. Sound design Olivier Calvert. Sound Gordon Neil Allen. Production design Georges Michael Fanfan, Annick Marion. Costumes Georges Michael Fanfan. Make-up Brenda Barthélémy. Casting Miryam Charles. Assistant director Joyce Joumaa. Line producer Nellie Carrier. With Schelby Jean-Baptiste, Florence Blain Mbaye, Eve Duranceau, Mireille Metéllus, Matthew Rankin, Yardly Kavanagh, Nadine Jean, Tracy Marcellin.
Films: 2015: Vole, vole tristesse / Fly, Fly, Sadness (6 min.). 2016: Towards the Colonies (5 min.). 2018: A Fortress (6 min.), Drei Atlas / Three Atlas (6 min.). 2019: Deuxième génération / Second Generation (5 min.), The Red Album or a Poetic Intent (5 min.). 2021: Song for the New World (9 min.). 2022: At Dawn (15 min.), Cette maison / This House.