|Young Dubliner Alan Cooke reflects on recently immigrating to New York City. Exploring such universal themes as nostalgia, the journey and the concept of home, the film includes interviews with immigrants, native New Yorkers, and a host of prominent New Yorkers. David Amram, Armand DiMele, Pete Hamill, Elaine Kaufman, Fran Lebowitz, Frank and Malachy McCourt, Alfred Molina, Mike Myers, Liam Neeson, Drew Nieporent, Rosie Perez, Colin Quinn, and Susan Sarandon all share their great love for the city they call home. Home is a timely film that reaches the heart of the city and its people today.
There comes a point in every New Yorker’s life in which he or she will mourn a lost New York . But if they should ponder on this a while, they will understand that this IS the story of New York . New York is a city that transforms at a speed more rapid than anywhere else in the world. Whether you’re a native or a recent immigrant, that is a fact the New Yorker must embrace.
In the year 2000, I began to film the city. I began documenting parts of the city I wanted to remember, as they were. But I didn’t see a film. I was nostalgic I suppose. After 9/11, I put it on the shelf. For sure, it was not going to be a film. Four years later, I met Alan Cooke, a recent Irish Immigrant from Dublin . Alan told me HIS story of New York . His story was one of a city in mourning. A city that intimidated him, a city that challenged him and a city that inspired him. Some of the places, experiences and people that Alan felt disconnected to, I recognized as the new city unfolding before me. Perhaps he too was mourning a lost New York , even if it was one he knew only through film and television. We began to discuss New York in a much broader sense and we decided to create OUR story of New York and to set out and discover how other people felt about their New York . We questioned the concept of home. We explored feelings of loss, the importance of letting go of the familiar, of something we call home, of our old selves. The film also explores the hardships of facing oneself in moments of doubt, and realizing that you are never alone, even in a city as vast as New York . The city, the world, and certainly man are truly and ultimately unknowable. But with this film, we have captured a moment in time and a pulse of the most diverse and inspirational city in the world. A city with numerous monuments, landmarks and icons. Too many to name. All built by immigrants and by the sons and daughters of immigrants!
Dawn Scibilia STATEMENT FROM ALAN COOKE
Home is a dream realized, a collaboration of spirit, of meaning, and of two artists who shared a unique vision.
I met Dawn when New York was still in fear, when New York was still wondering what lied ahead. I, as an immigrant and an artist shared those fears.
Dawn believed in a New York that went further than just the present, she believed in its magic and a place full of possibility. We took our beliefs and hit the streets with just a camera, unsure of the destination but quietly aware of the beauty and humanity the lied on our doorstep.
Home became more than a project, it became a quest for understanding my place in New York , and Dawn’s place in her native city. All of the beautiful images, the wonderful human beings we met and spoke with, shared in different ways, parts of their soul to the camera.
I would sit quietly and write out my heart’s secrets, missing my family, friends, and yearning for my place in this new city of dreams. The film changed both of our lives in many ways since. We realized that the secret to creating is to do, not talk of budgets or walls, but trust in the journey to provide the answers.
Now we have a film which so far has provoked strong emotions with viewers, deep reflections and lingering thoughts long after the last credits rolled.
What is HOME? It is a message for New York , AMERICA , and the world. The message is that New York is full of spirit, full of hope and is moving forward.
The Immigrants dream is alive – HOME Alan Cooke
The project was shot entirely in New York City on digital video in color and B&W in widescreen 1.85:1 aspect ratio.