One of the most soothing, captivating movie experiences of the year will surely be Bas Devos’ Here. His first film since 2019’s Ghost Tropic and set in his native Belgium, it revolves around a bond between a Romanian construction worker (Stefan Gota) and a Belgian-Chinese doctorate student of moss (Liyo Gong), who cross paths just before the former is about to move back home. The film had its world premiere at Berlinale 2023 where it won the Encounters Award, before making stops at TIFF and NYFF. Cinema Guild has released the U.S. trailer ahead of its February release.
In his wrap-up report of NYFF61, Editor-at-Large Matt Delman called it one of his favorite films of the festival. “It plays like a Kelly Reichardt film with even less plot, so naturally I loved it,” he said. “The calming sounds of rain and the aroma of warm homemade soup fill in the mise-en-scene in lieu of a conventional plot.”
Here’s the official synopsis:
Here follows Stefan, a Romanian construction worker living in Brussels who is about to return home to visit his mother, and perhaps stay for good. Using the leftovers from his fridge, he cooks up a big pot of soup and begins handing it out as farewell gifts to friends and family. But while waiting for his car to be fixed, he meets Shuxiu, a Belgian-Chinese woman preparing a doctorate on mosses. Her attention to the near-invisible stops him in his tracks. On the heels of Ghost Tropic (2019), Bas Devos offers another Brussels city symphony. With a quiet grace that’s becoming a trademark, he and his team capture both the longing of contemporary urban life and the potential for enchantment that still exists in spaces shared by strangers from different worlds.
Here opens on February 9 at Film at Lincoln Center before expanding nationwide. Watch the trailer below.