This film was previously reviewed in July 2020 as part of our Sheffield Doc/Fest coverage.

Part-documentary, part-fiction, Marc Isaacs invites audiences into his home, in this overtly invasive and introspective examination of life in controlled spaces. A foreboding uneasy sensation is shared amongst house inhabitants that are introduced to Isaacs’ personal space in what is a meditation on human connection. Whilst the semi-scripted narrative has elements of humour, the characters of devout Muslim neighbour, a Slovakian homeless man, two builders, and Isaacs’ cleaner all try to coexist in this challenging mockumentary.

Political in the sense that the characters challenge each other’s world views through the narrative of confinement, several other elements, unfortunately, become too overwhelming to work in harmony. Whilst also playing with the notion of filmmaking, Isaacs is told his next film must be about crime, sex, or celebrity to get funding, this prompts the filmmaker into assessing the characters that feature in his daily home life.

Through his engagements with these characters in his home, Isaacs attempts to make commentary on his filmmaking process but unfortunately, the banality of these interactions makes for a less engaging film. The experimentation of using real people in scripted situations has the potential to explore prejudices and humanity but the lack of cohesion stops any deep exploration of these people short. 

Isaacs’s often genuine approach to his subject matter is missing here when he reflects inwards and struggles to pull reality and fiction together. Though The Filmmaker’s House is large in scope and heart, there is an unsatisfying sense that many of its ideas about changing preconceptions are heavy-handed and abandoned repeatedly. The exchange of material goods for more intangible sentimentalities is a motif used throughout but is never fully followed up and leaves several questions unanswered.



CAST: Marc Isaacs, Mikel Novosad, Luz Nery Villada, Keith Martin, Zara Akram

DIRECTOR: Marc Isaacs

SYNOPSIS: Part documentary part fiction, filmmaker Marc Isaacs invites several people from different backgrounds into his house while he struggles to make his next film.