Two lives cross in New York. Lamis, a Lebanese woman, has just moved to the city and describes her impressions while the Brazilian man Wilson has already lived there for 10 years. We never see them on the screen, but their relationship is described in poetic Arabic and Portuguese voice-overs, which contrast starkly with the images, shot in New York, Berlin and Brazil. In this way, the film speaks literally to the imagination: the events take place between what we see and what we hear.

This hybrid form of documentary, fiction, travelogue and letters makes this 'film diary' reminiscent of News from Home (1977) by Chantal Akerman. Whereas Akerman brings together two different worlds based on letters from her mother in Belgium and images of New York, While We Are Here adds macro and geopolitical issues, such as globalisation and migration, to this approach. The main thread remains intimate and human: desire, love, fear and memories.

International title
While We Are Here
Filmmaker
Clarissa Campolina, Luiz Pretti
Premiere
World premiere
Country
Brazil
Year
2019
Medium
DCP
Length
75’
Language
Portuguese, English, French, Arabic
Producer
Luana Melgaço
Production Company
Anavilhana Filmes
Sales
Anavilhana Filmes
Writer
Clarissa Campolina, Luiz Pretti
Cinematography
Clarissa Campolina, Luiz Pretti
Editor
Clarissa Campolina, Luiz Pretti
Sound Design
Pedro Durães
Cast
Mary Ghattas, Marcelo Souza e Silva, Grace Passô