Short Film Profile

Harvest Home

Emotionally uprooted after the recent death of her husband, Esther Kern is trying to return to normal life after completing her shiva—a weeklong period of family mourning mandated in the Jewish religion. Mrs. Kern’s children—a successful ophthalmologist and the wife of a busy businessman—have long since moved away to start families of their own, setting aside the traditions of the Jewish faith which she so cherishes for the concerns of daily life.

Tentatively embarking upon her reentry into the world, Mrs. Kern is visited by a cable repairman, who has come to her house to fix a problem with her reception. Deprived of her lifetime role as both wife and mother, she tries to forge an emotional connection with this stranger—telling stories about her family and bringing him cake and coffee—all in an effort to fill the void left by her recent loss. But unsure of what to make of this unexpected situation, the repairman find himself at once taken aback and drawn in by the residue of tragedy that lingers in the home.

Film notes

Inspired by the family chamber dramas of Yasujiro Ozu and the analytical depictions of modern life in the films of Michelangelo Antonioni, Craig Whitney’s short film HARVEST HOME offers a lyrical and plaintive examination of growing old and enduring life’s everyday tragedies in the midst of contemporary society.

Written and directed by Austin filmmaker Craig Whitney, HARVEST HOME examines the mysterious dichotomy that exists between the tragedy and the banality of our daily misfortunes. HARVEST HOME stars Diane Hruska (Pastor Shepherd, The Funeral Singer) and Scott Bate (Friday Night Lights, Johnny Be Good), was produced by Stephanie Huettner (The Peacemaker, I Am Nick Robinson), photographed by cinematographer Jameson West (Closing Night, Refrigeration), and designed by Cecilia Norman (Interregnum I: Union Pacific).
Jewish short film Austin Texas cable television TV aging elderly




Copyright © 2008 Better Archangel Pictures

Previous screenings

13 May – 22 May | Cannes, France

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 17 Jul 2009