Toronto – What constitutes a home? This question has plagued my mind for weeks. Is home where the heart is? Where your family and friends are? Is it a fixed location? A physical entity? Or is ‘home’ simply an ideological construct meant to create meaning in our lives? I moved over Halloween weekend, so it’s fair that I dwell on the philosophical rather than unpack my mountainous pile of things…right?
Last week, my pondering reached a new level of ponderation. I attended the premier of Homeland, a Godot Art Productions show that examines the meaning of home. Coincidence? Probably. None-the-less, Homeland got the wheels a-turning. Through a well-performed combination of dance, live music and documentary film, Homeland is a brilliant portrayal of complex human emotion. It translates the search for identity into art, and leaves the audience examining and re-examining the definition of home.
As a whole, Homeland is a major success. Every element flows together seamlessly and effortlessly. The documentary film – a focal point in the show – definitely rocked my ‘what-is-home’ world. The film is incredible for two reasons: first, it’s the backbone of the entire performance. It communicates human emotion with heartfelt intensity. Second, the film (set in and around Toronto) portrays a variety of perspectives from several real-life participants; a huge selling point for even the most diverse crowd. It is truly compelling to watch, and in my opinion deserves a wider audience and a much larger screen.
Written and directed by Setareh Delzendeh, Homeland is a reflection of her own identity crisis, one that was intensified after her move from Iran to Toronto. For Delsendeh, the project began as a documentary film intended to research the meaning of home. From there it grew into something larger, and has since found it’s place on stage accompanied by live music and dance.
It’s safe to say that, whether you are a true-blue Toronto native or are just getting to know this bustling city, Homeland should not be missed. It has something for everyone. Be prepared to ponder, to re-examine and to be inspired. And if you’ve just moved, be prepared to put-off unpacking. Pondering is such a time-consuming process…