“Homemade” Brings Us Together- Series Review

by Megan Hemenway
Rachel Morrison of Homemade
HOMEMADE Director Rachel Morrison Photo Courtesy Netflix

Since March, the world has turned upside down. COVID-19 has raged (and still is somewhat) all over the globe. Because of this, the last few months have definitely been scary and a bit oppressive for everyone. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s not plenty of art and media to inspire us and keep the world going until we return to our new normal, much of which is homemade.

At the end of June, Netflix released Homemade. In the spirit of quarantine, Homemade is made up of several short films, made by professional filmmakers in their very own homes during the COVID-19 crisis. These 17 films range over many genres, countries, and styles. But, the one thing they have in common is that they evoke a feeling of community.

Paolo Sorrentino's Short Film in Homemade
Paolo Sorrentino’s film, Voyage Au Bout De La Nuit

Homemade Stand-Outs

After watching the 17 short films of Homemade, all 4-10 minutes long, you can tell that there is a wide distinction between these films. Some are funny, some sentimental, and others horrific. In the end, all of them have a hint of oddity to them as well. And why not? We are all living in such weird times that it only makes sense that these short films encapsulating this time would be odd as well.

One of my favorites included Paolo Sorrentino’s, Voyage Au Bout De Nuit or Journey to the End of the Night. This 7-minute film followed the romantic quarantine between two important global figures; the Pope and Queen Elizabeth. Of course, the stars are in bobblehead form but the sentiment is exactly the same.

Another favorite of mine was Antonio Campos’ Annex, which takes a much darker look and even veers a bit from the quarantine topic. Annex tells the story of a couple whose daughter finds a mysterious unconscious man on the beach. This film left me with so many questions and a bit of fright that I couldn’t not love it.

Couple Splits Up While in Quarantine LOL, from Homemade
Rungano Nyoni’s, Couple Splits Up While in Quarantine LOL

Special Details

If you’re not already hooked on an easy-to-watch set of quarantine films to binge, then here are some other extras that might pull you into Homemade.

While the films range from horror to camp, they’re also made in varying ways. As pictured above, Rungano Nyoni’s film, Couple Splits Up While in Quarantine LOL is made entirely of text messages between a couple living together in quarantine with plenty of “lols” and pictures. Additionally, other films include poetry, songs, and even video chat.

Lastly, while many of the filmmakers maybe not as easy to recognize if you’re not a film buff, there are a few that might catch your eye. Namely, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Kristen Stewart. Both actresses foray into directing in Homemade, creating enticing and though-provoking pieces about isolation.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, Netflix’s Homemade offers a realistic yet fantastical perspective on quarantine and the COVID-19 pandemic. With 17 films, the chance that you’ll find one that really speaks to you is huge. And even if you don’t, Homemade has plenty of beautiful images and entertaining moments to keep you occupied for a while. Let us know which film is your favorite!


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