Home




"The idea for Home came to me while driving in the car looking at what was beside the motorway. The houses were like stories passing on the other side of my car window. I wanted to change the perspective, to look at things from the other point of view, and to use fiction to discover and invent what people saw or had seen from their windows night and day. Home tells the story of obsessive characters, who go to the point of exhaustion, who plunge into madness. It is also a film situated at the limits of different kinds of film: the burlesque one, the suspense, the drama." No one could have better précised this beguiling debut - one of the real highlights from the Cinema Europa strand at this year's festival - than Ursula Meier, the Swiss-French writer-director at its helm. Though it could so easily have been summarised as: The family that bathes together stays together. A father (Olivier Gourmet), a mother (Isabelle Huppert) and their three children lead an oddball, insular existence on the edge of an empty motorway, built ten years ago, but so far disused. They laugh and joke and require only each other for company. They play hockey together on the otherwise deserted tarmac. The eldest daughter sunbathes in a barely-there bikini along the up-until-now needless crash barriers. A desert island way-of-life. It is the beginning of the summer and the motorway is finally about to be opened. The torpor of the season is so convincingly conveyed that you feel the swelter even in an air-conditioned cinema. The trucks come in the middle of the night to lay the surface tar; the camera fetishising the workmen's solid footwear as if they were wearing army-issue jackboots. The Manichean conceit is on-point, but Home's true attention is directed elsewhere. Literally "planted" beside the motorway, barely a few metres from exhaust fumes and the incessant rush of traffic - the polluting influence of the outside world - the family begins to swerve off-course, their delicate union irrevocably altered by their new, noisy neighbour. This is a road movie like no other. Just as the family can't escape from (or even onto) the motorway, the narrative of the road drives straight through their film, informing everything they do, everything they say, everything we see. We await the opening of the E57, just as the family does. We in our cinema seats; they in their sofa along the hard shoulder, playing a guessing game as to whether the first car to whoosh past will be red or green. (It's blue.) "If you build it, they will come" takes on a far more ominous reading here. Home begins as the slightest of black comedies, but descends into the subtlest of tragedies, as the family suffers a loss and barricades itself from the outside in. By the end, it is as if we have stumbled upon an apocalyptic, oxygen-less wasteland - as if the film and its inhabitants have been winded of their vitality, their air. The bright colours that once popped in Agnès Godard's superb, light-sensitive cinematography, have by now dimmed to something altogether gloomier. And you see it all, these changing fortunes, played out across the face of Isabelle Huppert; an actress of such sustained distinction that it really is futile to list how accomplished she is here - but I can't help myself, propelled, as I am, by sympathy for a character quite unlike anything else she's created. This is a very different kind of restrained, repressed Huppert performance: the scene in which we see her sitting at the kitchen table, camera panning around as she listens to radio phone-ins extolling the virtues of the new road, is a masterclass in slowly-dawning desperation. While it would be imprudent of me to disclose the final act, let me say one thing: it is breathgiving, soul-stirring stuff, set to the arpeggiated piano and haunting vocal of Nina Simone's Wild Is the Wind. I look forward to what follows from Meier. With Home, she has made an impressive contribution to the European canon. Hers is an authentic, believable, vital new voice that picks up what Jean-Luc Godard's Week-end began and Michael Haneke's The Seventh Continent left off.

afeshareki@thenational.ae

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Where to donate in the UAE

The Emirates Charity Portal

You can donate to several registered charities through a “donation catalogue”. The use of the donation is quite specific, such as buying a fan for a poor family in Niger for Dh130.

The General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments

The site has an e-donation service accepting debit card, credit card or e-Dirham, an electronic payment tool developed by the Ministry of Finance and First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Al Noor Special Needs Centre

You can donate online or order Smiles n’ Stuff products handcrafted by Al Noor students. The centre publishes a wish list of extras needed, starting at Dh500.

Beit Al Khair Society

Beit Al Khair Society has the motto “From – and to – the UAE,” with donations going towards the neediest in the country. Its website has a list of physical donation sites, but people can also contribute money by SMS, bank transfer and through the hotline 800-22554.

Dar Al Ber Society

Dar Al Ber Society, which has charity projects in 39 countries, accept cash payments, money transfers or SMS donations. Its donation hotline is 800-79.

Dubai Cares

Dubai Cares provides several options for individuals and companies to donate, including online, through banks, at retail outlets, via phone and by purchasing Dubai Cares branded merchandise. It is currently running a campaign called Bookings 2030, which allows people to help change the future of six underprivileged children and young people.

Emirates Airline Foundation

Those who travel on Emirates have undoubtedly seen the little donation envelopes in the seat pockets. But the foundation also accepts donations online and in the form of Skywards Miles. Donated miles are used to sponsor travel for doctors, surgeons, engineers and other professionals volunteering on humanitarian missions around the world.

Emirates Red Crescent

On the Emirates Red Crescent website you can choose between 35 different purposes for your donation, such as providing food for fasters, supporting debtors and contributing to a refugee women fund. It also has a list of bank accounts for each donation type.

Gulf for Good

Gulf for Good raises funds for partner charity projects through challenges, like climbing Kilimanjaro and cycling through Thailand. This year’s projects are in partnership with Street Child Nepal, Larchfield Kids, the Foundation for African Empowerment and SOS Children's Villages. Since 2001, the organisation has raised more than $3.5 million (Dh12.8m) in support of over 50 children’s charities.

Noor Dubai Foundation

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the Noor Dubai Foundation a decade ago with the aim of eliminating all forms of preventable blindness globally. You can donate Dh50 to support mobile eye camps by texting the word “Noor” to 4565 (Etisalat) or 4849 (du).

'Joker'

Directed by: Todd Phillips

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix

Rating: Five out of five stars

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Common OCD symptoms and how they manifest

Checking: the obsession or thoughts focus on some harm coming from things not being as they should, which usually centre around the theme of safety. For example, the obsession is “the building will burn down”, therefore the compulsion is checking that the oven is switched off.

Contamination: the obsession is focused on the presence of germs, dirt or harmful bacteria and how this will impact the person and/or their loved ones. For example, the obsession is “the floor is dirty; me and my family will get sick and die”, the compulsion is repetitive cleaning.

Orderliness: the obsession is a fear of sitting with uncomfortable feelings, or to prevent harm coming to oneself or others. Objectively there appears to be no logical link between the obsession and compulsion. For example,” I won’t feel right if the jars aren’t lined up” or “harm will come to my family if I don’t line up all the jars”, so the compulsion is therefore lining up the jars.

Intrusive thoughts: the intrusive thought is usually highly distressing and repetitive. Common examples may include thoughts of perpetrating violence towards others, harming others, or questions over one’s character or deeds, usually in conflict with the person’s true values. An example would be: “I think I might hurt my family”, which in turn leads to the compulsion of avoiding social gatherings.

Hoarding: the intrusive thought is the overvaluing of objects or possessions, while the compulsion is stashing or hoarding these items and refusing to let them go. For example, “this newspaper may come in useful one day”, therefore, the compulsion is hoarding newspapers instead of discarding them the next day.

Source: Dr Robert Chandler, clinical psychologist at Lighthouse Arabia

Safety 'top priority' for rival hyperloop company

The chief operating officer of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Andres de Leon, said his company's hyperloop technology is “ready” and safe.

He said the company prioritised safety throughout its development and, last year, Munich Re, one of the world's largest reinsurance companies, announced it was ready to insure their technology.

“Our levitation, propulsion, and vacuum technology have all been developed [...] over several decades and have been deployed and tested at full scale,” he said in a statement to The National.

“Only once the system has been certified and approved will it move people,” he said.

HyperloopTT has begun designing and engineering processes for its Abu Dhabi projects and hopes to break ground soon. 

With no delivery date yet announced, Mr de Leon said timelines had to be considered carefully, as government approval, permits, and regulations could create necessary delays.

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Mental health support in the UAE

● Estijaba helpline: 8001717
● UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention hotline: 045192519
● UAE Mental health support line: 800 4673 (Hope)
More information at hope.hw.gov.ae

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

Sweet Tooth

Creator: Jim Mickle
Starring: Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen
Rating: 2.5/5

PFA Premier League team of 2018-19

Allison (Liverpool)

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City)

Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)

Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

Fernandinho (Manchester City)

Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

FROM THE ASHES

Director: Khalid Fahad

Starring: Shaima Al Tayeb, Wafa Muhamad, Hamss Bandar

Rating: 3/5

Forced Deportations

While the Lebanese government has deported a number of refugees back to Syria since 2011, the latest round is the first en-mass campaign of its kind, say the Access Center for Human Rights, a non-governmental organization which monitors the conditions of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

“In the past, the Lebanese General Security was responsible for the forced deportation operations of refugees, after forcing them to sign papers stating that they wished to return to Syria of their own free will. Now, the Lebanese army, specifically military intelligence, is responsible for the security operation,” said Mohammad Hasan, head of ACHR.
In just the first four months of 2023 the number of forced deportations is nearly double that of the entirety of 2022.

Since the beginning of 2023, ACHR has reported 407 forced deportations – 200 of which occurred in April alone.

In comparison, just 154 people were forcfully deported in 2022.

Violence

Instances of violence against Syrian refugees are not uncommon.

Just last month, security camera footage of men violently attacking and stabbing an employee at a mini-market went viral. The store’s employees had engaged in a verbal altercation with the men who had come to enforce an order to shutter shops, following the announcement of a municipal curfew for Syrian refugees.
“They thought they were Syrian,” said the mayor of the Nahr el Bared municipality, Charbel Bou Raad, of the attackers.
It later emerged the beaten employees were Lebanese. But the video was an exemplary instance of violence at a time when anti-Syrian rhetoric is particularly heated as Lebanese politicians call for the return of Syrian refugees to Syria.

MATCH DETAILS

Manchester United 3

Greenwood (21), Martial (33), Rashford (49)

Partizan Belgrade 0

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

SPEC SHEET: APPLE TV 4K (THIRD GENERATION)

CPU: Apple A15 Bionic

Capacity: 64GB, Wi-Fi only; 128GB, Wi-Fi + ethernet

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, ethernet (Wi-Fi + ethernet model only), IR receiver

I/O: HDMI, ethernet (128GB model only); Siri remote (charging via USB-C); accessibility features

Video: SDR/Dolby Vision/HDR10+ up to 2160p @ 60fps

Peripherals: Compatible with HD/UHD TVs via HDMI, Bluetooth keyboards, AirPods

Photo: GIF, HEIF, JPEG, TIFF

Colour: Black

In the box: TV 4K, Siri remote, power cord

Price: Dh529, Wi-Fi only; Dh599, Wi-Fi + ethernet

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

The biog

From: Ras Al Khaimah

Age: 50

Profession: Electronic engineer, worked with Etisalat for the past 20 years

Hobbies: 'Anything that involves exploration, hunting, fishing, mountaineering, the sea, hiking, scuba diving, and adventure sports'

Favourite quote: 'Life is so simple, enjoy it'

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Cultural fiesta

What: The Al Burda Festival
When: November 14 (from 10am)
Where: Warehouse421,  Abu Dhabi
The Al Burda Festival is a celebration of Islamic art and culture, featuring talks, performances and exhibitions. Organised by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, this one-day event opens with a session on the future of Islamic art. With this in mind, it is followed by a number of workshops and “masterclass” sessions in everything from calligraphy and typography to geometry and the origins of Islamic design. There will also be discussions on subjects including ‘Who is the Audience for Islamic Art?’ and ‘New Markets for Islamic Design.’ A live performance from Kuwaiti guitarist Yousif Yaseen should be one of the highlights of the day. 

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now