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the immigrant and the exile

The expatriate remains patriotic - loving their country from a distance. Their loyalty does not waver.

The immigrant is a foreigner that works in another country as a result of some form of escape, some desperate act.

The exile does not love their country, and it can be said that their country rejected them.

Which one wakes up homesick?

Which one can shrug off the betrayal, the long shadow of the dream of a better life when it sours and fades?

There are days when  I see no difference between the immigrant and the exile, two sides of the same coin. The expat is a blind romantic, their decisions set as young men and women, their senses dulled to nothing. I have started to understand I am not an expat any more, as I do not love my country. I tolerate it.

an early Sunday morning

In the darkness, I see a broken piano by the front door. It stands half-ripped open, naked, crooked. The snow is piling up around its feet. I shrug off a shiver, and bring the equipment to the car. Alexander is waiting, and we have to drive for a few hours.

The ride is mostly silent, the actor Egor in the back seat. We make small talk. The camera rests on my lap and sometimes I yank it up to the window, shooting the dark, blurry landscape as it swishes past us. Slender trees, heaves of blue snow, clouds in the distance, the little dots of light that are houses, people surely sleeping there under warm blankets.

We turn onto a small road as the sky grows bright. There are airplanes covered in cloth, straps flapping around in a steep wind. Out of the car, stretching our legs I am ready to shoot an arrival shot, a shoe leather shot as they used to be called.




The morning goes quickly. Egor has good instincts. The location is perfect, all soft light and tender corners. I take a deep breath and let it out, packing up the camera. I call home. Everyone is just waking up.

It is good to get out of the city, I tell myself. The nerves, the fury, the desperation that I did not know were in my blood - they are vented now, drifting off into that giant white sky. Head lowered, we walk and chew an endless gristle without even knowing it.








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