A Place That Time Forgot

Within us all, we carry a sense of home, a symbol of our culture, a foundation of our identity. We photograph the moments that we dream to remember, the places that we leave but that we want to migrate with us. But what of the home itself, what is held within its rooms and walls, what stays beneath the roof under which we grew, what of the place we leave behind?

Nestled in a quiet, southern Italian village, she lives abandoned. A small house. Dilapidated and seemingly empty, her walls have born witness to industrialisation, the creation of nation states, conflict, mass migration, both man and nature’s own will and destruction.

Once the center of community, of family, she now sits forgotten, a frozen relic of a time, lost in its past. And although the memories of people may have faded their imprints, their sounds never left. Absorbed by the ground and embedded into the walls that once provided shelter, where the air smells like childhood, where life began and where it was uprooted. Betrayal, confusion, longing, loss. Time doesn’t heal, it decays. Once the perfect host, she now grows tired, entrapped in the stillness, in the loneliness, in her yearning for their return.

  • Natali Khalili Tari
  • Natali Khalili Tari
  • Natali Khalili Tari
  • Gamze Şanlı
  • Gamze Şanlı
    Key Cast
  • Gamze Şanlı
    Director of Photography
  • Natali Khalili Tari
    Director of Photography
  • Natali Khalili Tari
  • Louie Clarke
    Sound Engineer
  • Olivia A. Melkonian
    Sound Designer
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 12 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 18, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    4K Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Natali Khalili Tari

Natali Khalili Tari is a British, Croatian-Iranian photographer and filmmaker based in London. Interested in the intersections of migration, diaspora and culture, her work endeavours to amplify underrepresented voices and stories with a strong focus on the SWANA and Balkan regions and diasporas. Recent films she has worked on include: 'These Hands Tell Stories' (2021) and 'Between Mountains and Wars' (2021). The latter of which premiered at the 27th Sarajevo Film Festival.

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Director Statement

Living in the diaspora we may imagine ‘home’ to lie in the place we migrated from, the place we chose to leave, or that we were forced to leave. A place where the people look like us, a land where the ingredients for our recipes grow and our ancestors’ bones rest in their roots. And we long for it - we long for that place, that memory, that familiarity, that home.

Aesthetically inspired by the work of Magnum Photographers of the late 1940’s, the film is composed like an album. The ‘normality’ of life is intersected and framed. Black and white are symbolic of stagnancy and death, whilst colour is of hope and life.

I sat with the house and observed what it watched, listened to what it said, the sounds that it made, the sounds it listened to, the remnants of family that it held. And there was nothing, no one. Did it understand why? Why, once so loved, it would be left so destitute? And I wondered if it could talk, what would it say, what would it feel?

We move, we grow, we make new memories, set new roots. But the house...it can’t move, can’t rebuild, can’t fill, can’t fathom its own emptiness.