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Nearness

Jorge Thielen Armand

France, Venezuela

synopsis

College teacher Sofia lives with her father and her daughter Olivia in Venezuela’s mountain city of Mérida, hardly surviving due to the collapsed economy and hostile environment. As Kevin, Olivia’s father, offers to pay for their flights to France in order to see his daughter, Sofia sees an opportunity to start a new life.

After arriving in France, Sofia accepts to live and work at the opulent house of Kevin’s new pregnant wife Beatrice in Bordeaux as a maid and a nanny for Beatrice’s son Henri. But Sofia becomes increasingly uncomfortable trying to find her role within this complex family vibe and structure. Tensions rise as the little boy grows hostile towards Sofia, her ex makes sexual advances and she realises that everyone wants Olivia to stay and her to leave. Sofia’s anger and homesickness explodes when she almost sets the house on fire. But returning to Venezuela is not an option.

Sofia decides to take things in her own hands and leaves with her daughter on a train to find a home elsewhere, carrying on the dream for a better future.

intention

I am one of 5 million Venezuelans who emigrated to flee violence and the economic crisis. I ended a life built around family. My structure collapsed. Left behind, my father drank to no avail and our elders remained in crumbling houses no one visits. Everyone left.

Arising from this loss, Nearness (La Cercanía) explores the rebirth of identity while in exile. As a psychological study of migration, this is the closure of a trilogy on the emotional process of grief; in my previous work I explored emotions of solitude and fortitude, now I seek what comes after.

Returning to Venezuela at this point, can only be a faraway dream, so I connect myself in Sofia’s struggle to break free from the oppression of new circumstances, and of the mental limbo that has paralyzed us from defining ourselves and from moving forward.

Emotional nearness to Venezuela will be forever a burden, for myself and Sofia, but beyond this permanent state of saudade lies a question I must resolve: can we build a home without a land?

videos

Sofia flees Venezuela only to fall under the control of her ex-husband and his new French wife.
6557-jorge-thielen-armand
Jorge Thielen Armand

Film Director, Production

production notes

original title
La Cercanía

produced byIn Vivo Films
23 rue Basse de Saint Eloi
17000, La Rochelle
France

in co-production with
La Faena Films – Venezuela

current financial need
€ 1.500.000