Nowhere NearDirected by Miko Revereza
Official Selection, 2023 Toronto International Film Festival
Official Selection, 2023 New York Film Festival
Filmed over six years in Los Angeles, NYC, the Midwest, the Philippines, and Mexico, Miko Revereza’s latest documentary tracks both his struggles with statelessness and his creative evolution as a filmmaker – embracing ever more experimentation, irony, and complexity. Where No Data Plan (SDAFF ’19) was a model of simplicity – a single train trip across the United States – NOWHERE NEAR restlessly reinvents and reorients itself as it goes. Revereza is thinking with and through editing, discovering new ways to synthesize the puzzle-pieced places and times he carries along with him.
One piece: Revereza follows his lola back to their familial home in Pangasinan – a place she now barely recognizes. She takes him to the church where her father is buried but can’t find the grave – all the stones seem to have moved. Another piece: he goes to the Mall of The Americas, and it all reminds him of the Philippines: the potted palm trees, the giant Lego statues that reference US imperialism, and the concentric circles of mall architecture that eerily mirror the digital family tree he drew for his lola.
Each of these moments resonate with each other, and Revereza as our narrator moves from goofy jokes to meta-commentary on filmmaking to painful memories and insights. The film culminates in a gorgeous double-exposure sequence, an ecstatic vision of the way every place is always something and somewhere else. With NOWHERE NEAR, Revereza is far beyond documenting his life. He’s cutting it into pieces, shining a light through, and watching the kaleidoscope change.
– Lev Kalman