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Film Locations
Nicky Hamlyn
Film Locations
Nina Danino's film Close to Home (1985) is an asymmetrical comparison between two very different places that have, or rather had, certain things in common; Gibralter and Berlin. Both, at different times, have been isolated politically and geographically, barely accessible by a gated causeway and a road corridor through East Germany respectively, both of which have been sealed at certain times.

Gibralter is Danino's place of origin, Berlin a place she has visited. The voice-over accounts emphasise her very different relationship to these two places. Berlin's symmetrical grand plan, disrupted by its post-war partition, and by the palimpsest of older incarnations still evident in its ruins, guides the character of the account of the city, which is cool and descriptive.

The account of Gibralter is suffused with private emotional meanings, which are recounted through a reading of letters between herself and her mother. Thus, paradoxically perhaps, Gibralter, whose geography Danino knows intimately is, above all, a place of the mind, with its emotional ties and associations, whereas her knowledgeable account of Berlin, while factually detailed and historically resonant, reveals little of her relationship to it, in its outsider's account of roads and monuments.

Still from Close to Home by Nina Danino , 1985
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