Following the death of her Indigenous mother, young Shay learns what it means to be apart from someone she loved deeply. The eleven-year-old leaves Australia and moves with her brother and father to his native town of Ypres in Belgium – on the other side of the world. Shay’s ancestors believe her mother’s spirit will find a place among the stars but to her astronomer father, the cosmos and planets mean something else. Separated from her indigenous roots, Shay tries to find answers in her new environment; she discovers that here too, people have to cope with their own stories which are often just as sad. During the First World War, Ypres was the site of many battles. In churches, museums and at public events, Shay learns the very different ways people here come to terms with their painful losses. Coupled with 3D, the film’s gently circling camera reveals strikingly new perspectives on time and space, thus making the cycle of life palpable to all of the senses.
by Eugenie Jansen
with Shayleah Sands, Kaleb Sands, Maarten Baes, Pearl Davern, Greg Griffiths
Netherlands / Belgium 2014