Here (2023) Berlinale 2023 | Encounters

February 19th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Bas Devos | Cast: Liyo Gong, Stefan Goat | Drama, 82

A serendipitous relationship between a Romanian construction worker and a Belgian-Chinese woman slowly ignites in this subtle yet luminous feature from Belgian auteur Bas Devos.

Landscape, countryside and the built environment are integral characters in this lowkey love story that relies on Grimm Vendekerckhove’s exquisite camerawork and Devos’ spare dialogue to tell its charmingly cinematic story.  

Stefan is on the verge of going back to his own country and while doing the valedictory rounds with a parting gift for friends and family he chances upon his future lover who is preparing her doctorate on mosses. 

With Here Devos adds another spare but memorable fourth feature to his archive that started with Violet, Hellhole and Ghost Tropic. His features submerge us into their respective worlds so the storytelling becomes an organic experience, enveloping us the slowly developing love story between two characters very much at ease with their own respective lives in a glowing arthouse film that unfolds in a series of radiantly-crafted tableaux in 4:3 format. MT


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