One of the most profoundly intimate and introspective films of the festival, A Room for a Man, takes a close look at what one’s own identity means and how you can break the path chosen to you by your family. Directed by Antony Chidiac, this is a film of personal exploration and experimentation, a journal of self.
Living with his mother in Beirut, Chidiac builds the narrative around his bedroom, the one place he feels himself and safe in this world. It is a highly symbolic room that both feels comforting and claustrophobic. The narrative centres on the redecoration of that room while Chidiac journey’s to Argentina to meet with his estranged Father.
The change in his room is symbolic for the change he is going through in life. Now that the walls of his sanctuary are laid bare, there is nothing keeping him there, no world to himself. He is forced to journey forward instead of remaining there alone in isolation.
Chidiac’s camera has a voyeuristic eye while simultaneously being reflected in mirrors and glass, always seeing the camera but never him. He chooses to remain anonymous to the camera, instead narrating his thoughts, feels and experiences in and around the title room. It’s a self-reflective piece we all go though, the feeling of being lost and alone, unsure of one’s place in this work and never feeling truly at home anywhere.
Chidiac perfectly captures his inner emotions, a feat few filmmakers manage to accomplish so effortlessly and artistically. While feeling incomplete by the end, this is a journey that isn’t complete for himself, and nor will it be for some time. We should be grateful for being allowed to be part of it for such a brief time.