A few months ago I heard about the critically acclaimed Netflix Original film, I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore. I received the tip via Cinema Faith, a film site that I do a little writing for.
I enjoyed the film and recommend it, especially if you’ve already got a Netflix account. It was funny and relaxing, but as the film progresses the stakes are raised for the characters. By the end, the film becomes a rather reflective experience, reflective and perhaps even a bit unnerving.
The title is taken from a Christian hymn:
This world is not my home
I’m just a passin through
My treasures are laid up
Somewhere beyond the blue
I think there’s something essential about not feeling at home in the world. Our human experience seems to be one in which we feel at least a little displaced. From the perspective of fiction writing, I’ve heard it said that one of the sure-fire ways for a reader to connect with a character than to create a character who is misunderstood.
Perhaps it’s simply the nature of human consciousness, the nature of the mind itself, private as it is. Our thoughts and our feelings are all our own, and who can ever truly get at what’s going on inside, especially when we ourselves have such an impossible task of making sense of it.
So we remain, within a world in which we all feel at least a little misunderstood. We are all at least a little not at home in this world. It may be that treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue, for the faithful who store up treasures in heaven. That may be the key to happiness — wait for the next go-round. Or perhaps the key is found in this world, to put one’s self out there and see what happens, to follow the old directive to love one’s neighbor. Such was my take-away of the film.