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Here (2024) - Movie Review

Movies & TV

By Jackie W.

- Feb 20, 2024

"Here," directed by Bas Devos, begins with an evocative scene featuring Stefan (played by Stefan Gota), a Romanian construction worker in Brussels, and his friend, gazing at city trains and reminiscing about the history of European railroads. This moment of shared knowledge, seemingly trivial, later echoes when Stefan, alongside Shuxiu (Liyo Gong), whom he recently met, shares the same historical tidbit. This repetition subtly emphasizes the value of sharing knowledge and experiences, rather than the information itself, fostering a sense of community even among strangers.

Devos crafts "Here" as an immersive journey rather than a narrative-driven tale, focusing on the profound connections formed through simple acts of sharing and observing. The film prioritizes the sensory and emotional landscapes of its characters, exploring the depth of human connections through gestures of sharing, whether it’s pointing out a sight, sharing a meal, or opening up about personal experiences.

Stefan and Shuxiu's paths cross serendipitously in the bustling life of Brussels, with their initial encounter in a restaurant sparking a mutual recognition of each other's humanity. Their backgrounds could not be more different, with Stefan's manual labor life contrasting with Shuxiu's academic pursuits as a bryologist. Despite these differences, they find common ground in their shared moments of introspection and exploration of the city and its natural surroundings.

Devos portrays Brussels as a character in its own right, blending urbanity with nature, showcasing the city's intimate connection with green spaces. This juxtaposition serves as a backdrop for Stefan and Shuxiu's burgeoning relationship, which unfolds in a series of meandering explorations, both physical through the city's landscapes and emotional through their growing bond.

Here (2024) - Movie Review

The film delves into themes of generosity, intimacy, and the resilience of nature, exemplified by Stefan's simple yet profound gesture of sharing homemade soup with friends and family. This act, though small, encapsulates the film's essence- the importance of caring and sharing in forging human connections.

Cinematographer Grimm Vandekerckhove's meticulous attention to the natural world, capturing its beauty in breathtaking detail, complements the film's contemplative mood. The sound design by Boris Debackere further enhances the immersive experience, with a detailed auditory landscape that brings the natural and urban environments of Brussels to life.

"Here" stands as a meditation on presence and the significance of the "here and now." It challenges viewers to appreciate the immediate, the tangible, and the shared experiences that define our existence. Devos invites the audience to become flâneurs alongside Stefan and Shuxiu, encouraging a mindful engagement with the world around us. In doing so, "Here" asserts that in a world that often feels devoid of meaning, the act of sharing, of saying "Here, look," can be a profound source of connection and understanding.


8 / 10

"Here," directed by Bas Devos, begins with an evocative scene featuring Stefan (played by Stefan Gota), a Romanian construction worker in Brussels.