Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival


I Must Away

In this essayistic film, director Dennis Harvey follows the fates of people in the stream of migration and creates a collage-like piece of identity, roots and home. Hashem is living illegally in Spain and trying to secure a residence permit, Ali from Afghanistan is denied asylum in Sweden, Alicia, who is in debt in Chile, moves to Europe in pursuit of work, and the director himself moves first from his homeland Ireland to Spain due to the financial crisis, and from there to Chile and Sweden after his girlfriend. All of them are building a new life outside their country of origin, each with a different background and starting point.

For seven years, Harvey explores contemporary migration both through the camera and in his own life. The film travels through France, Spain, Sweden, Chile, Bangladesh and Ireland, at home and away, exploring different levels of migration. The core of the story is formed by the letters from the director to his grandmother, in which he wonders about the privileges around where one is born and universal human rights. Passing comments throw the ball in the viewer’s court: Who is an expat, who is an immigrant? Why are some migrants wanted and some not, who is allowed to pursue a better life?

The partially home video-style film gradually wraps the viewer around its finger by creating an image of an organic migration movement which is constant and far from fair.

Sissi Korhonen (translated by Jenni Kaunisto)

Dennis Harvey is present in the screening of his film I Must Away on Wed, Jan 31.

Language: English, Spanish, Swedish
Subtitles: English
Length: 75 min
Age Limit: S
Year: 2023
Production Country: Ireland, Sweden, Chile

Director: Dennis Harvey
Producer: Dennis Harvey
Production Company: Story, Plainsong Films, Pajareza Films
Screenplay: Dennis Harvey, Kevin Breathnach
Editing: Neil Wigardt, Dennis Harvey
Cinematographer: Dennis Harvey, Tuva Björk, Alireza Naghavi, Maximiliano Scheleff, Manolo Rämö Diaz, Alexandru Timoscu
Sound Design: Thomas Jansson