Bound for Australia!

POSTED IN News May 31, 2012


it’s been a little while since we’ve posted and I know people think we’re stalling for no good reason but this is not the case.

We’d love to get the film out but there is a reason it is taking a while. Film festivals are picking it up and one requirement is that the film should not be online or be shown on television etc. Festivals are essential forums for us to showcase the film and attract attention.

Now after our successful international premier in Berlin (see review below) we’re now planning a local premier of Between Home at an Australian festival. It makes perfect sense given that filming began with Nick in Berlin and wrapped in Australia.

Details will follow of the festival once we are permitted to go public. We hope to combine this screening with the online launch of the film, so believe the hype – it’s coming!

Wishing you well,

Between Home Crew

Getting the Hell Outta Here: achtung berlin Roundup

Part 2

Posted on May 15, 2012 by Ahorn

By Andrew Horn

… Another journey being taken was much more far flung. This was the trip made in the documentary, “Between Home: Odyssey of an Unusual Sea Bandit”. The sea bandit of the title is Nick Jaffe, a 25 year old Australian who came to Berlin to connect with the history of the proverbial “father he never knew,” a Berlin photographer – from a German artistic background, he discovers – who died when Nick was still a baby.

As a way of connecting the two poles of his life, Nick, decides to make a 26,000 km sea voyage from Europe back to Australia alone on a small sailboat. However you want to look at it, definitely some kind of statement As Nick – who by the way has absolutely zero experience as a sailor – puts it, “you either have a 24 hour flight or an epic death defying experience.” As one old salt in Nick’s ultimate point of departure in the UK puts it, “If he makes it, it’s great! If he dies, we’ll miss him.”

It all sounds very cavalier, if perhaps morbidly so, but slowly reality starts to creep in. In the process of preparing, he has cleaned out his bank account, split up with his girlfriend and alienated his quasi-mentor who has started to have serious doubts about to Nick’s credibility as someone who can realistically handle the experience.

And then comes the hard part. Never mind the heat and the cold, the storms and doldrums or even the food rationing, it’s the utter loneliness. For someone who is intent on experiencing some sort of self discovery, he finds himself confronted with a very big wack of “self”. Even to the extent that when he finally makes his first landing, in Barbados, he is struck by the emptiness of having no one at all with whom to share the joy of this first accomplishment.

The one person that he does have, actually, is us. While the film works partly from the observations (visually, of course, as well as occasionally through commentary) of the filmmaker, Jack Rath, as he and Nick hook up at various points in the journey, it is also made up of material from video diaries shot on the boat itself by Nick, which track his surroundings, document events (and non-events) and provide a running monologue which weaves in and out of the film.

But if now that I think about it, it’s not just us, it’s also another audience made up of people he meets at his various points of call who are drawn in by his story and give him advice, encouragement, and various forms of hospitality and material support. He also has a virtual audience who follows his story through a website he has created to solicit funds.

But if you’re expecting that cliché life affirming saga of the triumph of human potential…well, let’s not kid ourselves. For what it’s worth, Nick does not come off exactly the hero type. He very quickly realizes he’s bitten off more than he can chew and his determination, excitement and ingenuity are constantly being tempered by boredom, fear and ineptitude. Needless to say he is also a bit of a user – though, god knows, anyone who undertakes this kind of major project somehow needs to be one.

It’s exactly Nick’s human-ness that makes the whole thing work. It wasn’t so much a drama that drew me in but, rather I found myself vicariously absorbed into the daily minutia of his journey. It reminded me of a Bresson film called “A Condemned Man Escapes Prison”, which is about exactly that and nothing more. You don’t know very much about who the person is or what he’s done, or even where he goes, but you just get so caught up in what is, on the surface, a very detailed series of tiny steps forward (and sometimes back) that you find yourself totally involved in the process and therefore his fate. In this case, from the joy of the adventure to Nick’s shear “when-is-this-EVER-going-to-be-fucking-over” exasperation.

And as for the big climactic arrival, suffice to say it’s not the climax, high or low, that I – or Nick for that matter – was expecting. And if the journey ultimately eclipses the goal, well it wouldn’t be the first time. But hey, there’s more than one way to be epic.