We teamed up with Birkbeck University to present Home in E Major, originally scheduled for the 2020 Essay Film Festival, a first-person essay film about unlikely friendships and what it means to find a home.

‘How do you know when you are home? Is it where you hang your hat? Or where you leave your heart? Moving from Jerusalem to Durham, North Carolina, I went from being at home to living as a foreigner.

Living in an utterly unfamiliar environment, I became keenly aware of the paradoxical forces that transform a house, a material foundation and a modular environment, into a home that embraces, nurtures and sustains those who live in it. My film documents this transformation.

We were four strangers under the same roof – the landlady Elisabeth, a 93-year-old firecracker from Austria and a retired linguist, and her three tenants: Li, a 27-year-old engineering scholar from China, Stuart, a 75-year-old retired American lawyer, and myself, a 33-year-old filmmaker from Jerusalem.

With time and often dramatic upheavals in the house together with budding friendships, the four of us came to support and care for one another. Home in E Major is a personal film, it documents a special meeting and a unique friendship.’ (Notes by Tamar Rachkovsky)

Following the screening, director Tamar Rachkovsky was in conversation with academics Dr Janet McCabe and Dr Kim Knowles.