Thursday, September 7, 2023

HOMECOMING (Machccan)(2023) Toronto 2023

This is the story about the return of artifacts from the Sami people from a museum to the people themselves. It follows the directors as they assist in the return of the artifacts and ponder what the items mean to the community they came from.

This is going to be a short review. After seeing the film three times and making numerous attempts at writing an on point review over the last two weeks I’ve decided that I’m going to  keep this short. The reason being is that HOMECOMING kicked up a lot of things for me outside of the film itself that go back to my once upon a time training as a historian. The question of museum collecting cultural artifacts is one that leads off into all sorts of discussions. My previous attempts at reviews became very long discussion of whether its right or wrong to collect artifacts and what should museums do with the pieces that they have. While all of these questions are raised and discussed at length in the film, I can’t in good conscience subject you to my novel length musings on the subject.

HOMECOMING as a film is good. It’s a well done look at Suvi West and Anssi Kömi helping restore artifacts taken from their people  back to the community they came from. It is a film that documents the hows and whys of the return.  It does so in a seemingly run of the mill way with nothing extraordinary on the face of it.

However, where the film scores is not in what the film shows, but rather in the discussions it starts. Watching the film with a friend we ended up talking well past the end of the film and this bled into my writing long pieces about the collection of materials, including human remains, their return and questions of what happens after that. It is a film that makes you ponder the nation of museums and academic study.  This is a film that gets the discussion started and then hangs around in your brain for a long time afterward as you ponder what it is showing you.

As a film that is going to get thinking and discussing, this film is gangbusters.

If you want your intellect scratched I recommend HOMECOMING when I plays near you.

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