At Home

Society/Drama, Greece/Germany 2014

Everyday life in global reproductive work: Nadja has been working for many years as a housekeeper for an upper-class Greek couple and their daughter. She is allowed to feel part of the family. When she is diagnosed with a serious illness and the man of the house gets into financial difficulties due to the economic crisis, rifts suddenly open up and Nadja's job is on the line. The employee tries to hide her precarious situation in these times of social indifference, but the class differences are obvious: better or worse, at home or abroad, with or without health insurance, these are the current pairs of opposites. But Nadja does not want to lose the emotional bond with her family, with whom she has spent so much time... The Greek landscape, which was once the setting for so many myths and legends, is sparse. The camera work in "At Home", with which director Athanasios Karanikolas and cameraman Johannes Louis approach the bungalow of Nadja's employer's family, is also Karg. Like an impregnable fortress, almost entirely made of concrete and glass, the house stands high on a cliff in Marathon, in the heart of Greece. The light remains glaring every day, bleaching out everything. Even the few conversations between the family and Nadja seem washed out and always the same. The cold rooms are staged in rigid, strictly composed shots that are as restrained as the characters' costumes, which are always monochrome. The change in circumstances comes gradually, almost imperceptibly, and yet is constantly palpable due to the financial difficulties and the threat of dismissal. The result is a drama told at a decelerated pace with complex images, which quietly convinces with its haunting leading actress. "One could easily mistake Karanikola's undercooled style for compassionless. But on the contrary, he gives Maria Kallimani an impressive acting freedom in the role of Nadja, which brings out the many nuances of her hurt - from sadness to bewilderment to pride. Nadja doesn't want money, she wants recognition: as a person, as a friend. Markos, on the other hand, accuses her of naivety: She has allowed herself to be deceived by the family's friendliness. But her gentle insistence on the fulfillment of an unspoken contract is the most honest reaction to the threat of an economic crisis. [...] Karanikola's architectural formal language functions as a social prison from which the woman unflinchingly attempts to free herself." (Andreas Busche, in: epd Film)
103 min
HD
Starting at 14
Audio language:
Greek
Subtitles:
EnglishGerman

Awards

Greek Film Academy Awards 2015 Best Actress Award Maria Kallimani
Berlinale 2014 Prize of the Ecumenical Jury Athanasios Karanikolas

More information

Sound Design:

Manuel Meichsner

Producer:

Lasse Scharpen

Original title:

Στο Σπίτι

Original language:

Greek

Further titles:

At Home (Sto Spiti)

Sto spiti - Zu Hause

Zuhause

Format:

1:2.35 HD, Colorized

Age rating:

Starting at 14

Audio language:

Greek

Subtitles:

EnglishGerman