The housing crisis in the big cities originates in the hypervaluation of the urban territories and the consequent eviction of their local communities. The phenomenon has taken on such surprising developments that the term gentrification seems to have lost its ability to translate it. Living righteously ceases to be a human right in that space is lost for the commoditization of living. With the middle class failing to buy houses in cities, a worldwide trend of urban exodus is unleashed. Where are these people going? What new lives do they build? What new ways of living do they invent?

 

Chasing houses helps us to (re) think of the fixed, immobile house as the fundamental typology of living. With the end of the American dream line, based on the suburban home, away from troubled urban centers, life on the road becomes an alternative. In view of the natural landscape of the American West, mobility, flexibility and dispossession of houses are critical to the mechanisms for creating real estate value around fixed dwelling. More than that, the film shows how Man, by creatively altering the available means, reinvents other senses of community and of ties of belonging.

 

The Portuguese short fiction Here Comes the Day takes a subjective look at how one lives in an “alternative house”. The house is a silent character in the film, an example of what can best be thought of in terms of contemporary living: functionally, rational, articulate, compact and economical, built with climate-friendly material. For if the house seems ideal in times of crisis of urban dwelling, why the young couple is not there? The film deals with human coexistence and the role that built environments have in the (dis) encounter between people.

 

Chasing Houses

Justin Time
Germany, 2017, 60’
New Talents Competition
Portuguese Premiere

 

 

Lá vem o Dia (Here Comes the Day)

Mercês Tomaz Gomes
Portugal, 2018, 20’
Fiction Competition