Cinema Releases - Here
Stefan, a Romanian construction worker living in Brussels, is on the verge of moving back home.
He cooks up a big pot of soup with leftovers in his fridge, to hand out as a goodbye gift to friends and family. As he is ready to go, he meets a Belgian-Chinese young woman who works in a little restaurant while preparing a doctorate on mosses. Her attention for the near-invisible stops him in his tracks.
Cine Lumiere 4th & 11th November
Leeds Film Festival 11th & 14th November
Bas Devos was born in Zoersel, Belgium, in 1983. Since graduating, Bas Devos has made two shorts The Close and We Know. His first feature, Violet, won the Jury Prize at Berlinale Generations in 2014 and was selected for New Directors New Films at Moma New York. His second feature, Hellhole, was selected for Berlinale Panorama in 2019. Ghost Tropic, his third feature, premiered three months later at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs 2019 in Cannes. Here is his fourth feature film.
He teaches film at Luca School of Arts in Brussels.
|We Know (Short)
|Written and directed by
|Director of Photography
|2023 - Belgium
|82 mins / 2K Flat DCP
"Other festival must-sees include “Here,” Bas Devos’s delicate, gracefully paced tale of two strangers — a construction worker and a botanist who studies moss — as they first drift into each other’s orbit on a moody day in Brussels. Not much happens except that everything does: life, labor, perhaps love. With an eye for beauty and little chatter, Devos makes his characters come expressively into view as he follows each separately and then together during their chance encounter in some verdant woods. Every moment signifies in this lovely, unexpected movie, starting with the opening image of a tall building framed by lush greenery."
Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
"A chance encounter changes two people’s lives in Here, the remarkable fourth feature from Belgian writer-director Bas Devos. This deceptively slender tale about a Romanian construction worker and a Belgian-Chinese bryologist (an expert in the study of moss and lichen) keeps its principal characters separate for most of the film’s 84-minute running time. But with gorgeous precision, Devos slowly brings these mismatched individuals into each other’s orbit, in the process crafting a quietly overwhelming study of human connection and our relationship with the natural world. Hardly a conventional love story, but achingly tender nonetheless, Here is fully present and dazzlingly alive."
Tim Grierson, Screen International
“Here” manages to present some of the most striking moving images in recent memory by leaning into the same minute details that its protagonist struggles to recognize in his own daily life. Devos’ soft directorial touch elevates what could have been a simple short film into a reflection on the small joys we choose to miss that packs a punch far greater than its runtime.
Cristian Zilko, IndieWire
"Compared to the more fragmented, mosaic-like narratives of Violet and Hellhole, Here is a linear experience; Stefan and Shuxiu’s storylines unfold along separate tracks until a chance encounter at her family restaurant and then another in the woods where she searches for mosses. But the plot, such as it is, remains resolutely low stakes. The incidents paving the couple’s wanderings (a broken car, a torrential summer storm) are almost the stuff of fairy tales, and the film itself seems to hang in a dreamlike realm for long passages, which graces its most on-the-nose associationswith an ethereal beauty."
Leonardo Goi, Reverse Shot
"For anyone keeping tabs on Bas Devos’ career, it’s notable that the drama of his latest film Here is set in motion by something as benign as a pot of soup. A charming portrait with a flânuerial spirit, the film follows a Brussels-based Romanian construction worker who, having decided to move home, cooks what’s left in his fridge, packages it up, then gifts it to family, friends and––much later––a Belgian-Chinese woman doing a PhD in moss. She is played by Liyo Gang and he is played by Stefan Gota. It’s 81 minutes long, has relatively little dialogue, and tugs the heartstrings in all the best ways. It might be the most benevolent film of this year."
Rory O'Connor, The Film Stage
"Breathtaking ode to nature and human connection.
A cinematic antidote to an era marked by dwindling attention spans and human detachment, offering a poignant reflection on the power of living in the moment."
Martin Kudlac, Screen Anarchy
"With Here, his fourth feature film and winner of the Encounters and the Fipresci Award at the 73rd Berlinale, the Belgian director Bas Devos creates a luminous, delicate, and subtle film that inspires awe. Through meticulous framing, the ability to build a narrative through ellipsis, and a sense of real time, Devos brilliantly explores the wonder of the ordinary…
In a simple and unspectacular way, Here’s story captivates us with its peaceful pace, the gentleness and benevolence of its characters, their care for each other and their interest for the world they are living in…
Blending lyricism with a firm grasp of reality, Devos strives for the essential. With his elegant, poised scenes shot in 4:3 format and a similarly accurate soundscape, he draws attention to the intensity of each and every moment, its complexity and frail beauty. Playful and light-hearted, the film’s ending hints at the beginning of a beautiful love story that will stay with us for a long time."
Maria Giovanna Vagenas, Senses of Cinema
"Strikingly distinct in style. That signature blend of ultra-realism with a dash of fantasy is very much intact...It's a quiet, romantic whisper of a film that will vibe hard with those who can get on it wavelength. Gorgeously lensed by Grimm Vandkerckhove, HERE is visual storytelling at its most instictive and tender. It reminds you that not everything needs to be reasoned or even named. As illustrated with wordless perfection by the film's beautiful final shot, this holds true especially in matters of the heart."
Zhuo-Ning Su, Awards Daily
"An incredibly wonderful, lovely film"
Alex Heeney, Seventh Row (podcast)
"With HERE, Devos adds another spare but memorable fourth feature to his archive that started with VIOLET, HELLHOLE and GHOST TROPIC."
"Devos' refreshing vision offers clarity for an audience in its inviting presentation, suggesting that serenity needn't only come from an excursion, but could be a way of life."
Stphen Saito, The Moveable Feast
"That's how HERE captivates in moments, stringing together a loose narrative collection of encouragements to open our eyes, to see the world and the potential of its embrace."
International Cinephile Society
"A poetic, highly pictorial, urban tableaux."
'When Stefan first encounters Shuxiu, he is sitting, soaked, in a Chinese restaurant. What will become of them isn’t the purview of the film, or its point, exactly. And, yet, in this painstakingly muted, luminously photographed testimony to connection, nothing much and everything happens — or could.'
Lisa Kennedy, New York Times (US release Feb'24)
'A small, tiny, almost-perfect litle film.'
This is a film that's attuned to both the earthly concerns with money and work and the more ineffable but no less pressing urge to belong. From a lesser director, its oneiric detours...might have ome across as contrived. In Devos's hands, they are the culmination of a jorney that began long before Here: a portrait of a city as a breathing organism, no less alive and mysterious than those who roam it.
Leonardo Goi, Reverse Shot