The 'here' from the title is Portland, Oregon. Seen through the eyes of Jost, it is a rainy industrial city where it is only occasionally warm inside. The 'there' of the film is Iraq that has now become a national trauma just the way Vietnam once was. Jost previously made a film about the here/there of America with Homecoming (2004). In Over Here, several years later, the trauma seems to have got under the skin. Jost takes his human story under the skin, far from big politics. He only adopts an explicit standpoint in a declaration at the end.
The film focuses on Jason. He's young, but also a veteran. Completely devastated by a confusing war. The film opens with a close-up of Jason that lasts for minutes in an image distorted by video processing. An experimental start to a relatively conventional film.
The indolent Jason was homeless and was taken in by a man. This Chris wanted to see his goodness rewarded by gratitude and he wants Jason to adapt to his house rules. The result is however that Jason becomes even more indifferent and also that he can no longer keep in his bottled-up emotions.
The film looks simple, but in reality it's very ambitious. Jost wants nothing less than to map a national trauma on a micro level. His camera looks like an advanced heat-seeking projectile. He seeks his way and finds it, even though America chooses darkness to cover everything. (GjZ)