Can we consider that the “true voyage is return” as Ursula Le Guin wrote in The Dispossessed? Or shall we assume that “You can’t go home again”, as suggested both by Thomas Wolfe and Chet Baker, implying that you can never be in the same place twice? To return home, to the place that shaped us and our parents to be the persons we are today, leads us to the question: where even is home?
This film series explores diverse meanings of home and the act of returning to a place that no longer feels like a home anymore. Through a selection of documentaries, spanning various countries – from Turkey to China, from Palestine to Bangladesh – we follow the experiences of the (grand-) children of immigrants traveling to their (parents’) homeland.
These journeys indispensably lead to the recent or distant history of the geographies in question, sometimes becoming a form of confrontation or memory work for the filmmakers. The intersection of the past and present, personal and collective memory can both alleviate and create tension. For this reason, these stories need to be told.
Necati Sönmez works as a film critic, journalist and documentary filmmaker. He is one of the founders of Documentarist – Istanbul Documentary Days which was launched in 2008 and soon became the most important documentary festival in Turkey. He also initiated the Which Human Rights? Film Festival. So far, he has served as jury member in over 30 festivals around the world and curated documentary programmes in several film festivals as a guest curator. Necati Sönmez lives in Istanbul and Cairo and currently holds a scholarship in Berlin.