While caring for her mom Aïcha who has Alzheimer’s, film-maker Karima Saïdi typically asks her the straightforward but loaded query: “The place do you reside?” At one level, her mom replies: “In a handkerchief”; a surprisingly poetic reply that encapsulates the psychological haze of her situation. At different occasions she speaks of her childhood in Tangier, or the household house in Brussels the place she noticed her youngsters develop up. As Aïcha’s thoughts wanders, Saïdi’s documentary transforms right into a haven for her recollections, that are fading quick.
This cinematic nest is constructed from previous house movies and images, which inform of a turbulent immigrant life in Belgium. Saïdi’s older sister Amina was pressured into marriage on the age of 15, and her brothers Jamal and Mohamed each died comparatively younger. Informed by way of Saïdi’s sombre voiceover, these tragic occasions additionally incur questions for Aïcha, who’s urged for affirmation in addition to additional particulars.
Whereas open of their intention, these conversations tackle a barely uncomfortable tone, as Aïcha turns into more and more annoyed along with her incapacity to recall her personal previous. Whereas Saïdi had earlier obtained permission from her mom to movie her, Aïcha’s deteriorating consciousness raises the difficulty of whether or not she will be able to meaningfully consent to having her most weak moments proven on display screen.
With this in thoughts, a few of Saïdi’s stylistic decisions additionally really feel fairly uneasy. When juxtaposed with polished closeups of Saïdi talking her elements of the recorded conversations, we solely see Aïcha in time-stop frames; it’s jarring to by no means see her really talking the phrases that float by way of the movie. Although undeniably transferring in elements, A Method House additionally begs vital questions in regards to the ethics of representing these with cognitive sicknesses on movie.