Sven Johne, 2016

The Long Way Home

At night, a man in a car drives through an anonymous city. He can't sleep, so he sings himself a lullaby, "Hush little baby, don’t say a word." An inner voice torments him for the duration of the film in a breathless flow of words:

"... a mother stands beside her dead baby in a makeshift morgue at the hospital. Simultaneously, bodies are placed in a mass grave on the day that peacekeeping forces arrive and children run through a swarm of locusts. A woman holding a photograph of her brother is told the skull is his. A passenger's corpse lies in the bedroom of a house, having crashed through the roof. United Airlines Flight 175 approaches the World Trade Center above the Manhattan skyline, then crashing into its south tower. The severed head of a man. He told me to take the long way home after work ..."

The figures from these described images seem to speak with him. "Take the long way home, sing yourself a lullaby, relax." The man stops again and again, tries to unwind. And again the voices start. He drives on, sings on. At the end, salvation: he falls asleep—at the wheel of the moving car.

The text is based on captions from World Press Photographs, 2001–2015.

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The Long Way Home
Sven Johne
1 channel video, color video, stereo audio
1920px x 1080px, 10'16"