Every lamp, every cup, every gadget—insurance companies often require homeowners who have lost their homes in a fire to take an inventory of every object they owned. But of course this list can never show what is really of value and what is not. This is precisely what filmmaker Irene Lusztig asks about.
In 2020, a California wildfire reduced 900 homes to ashes. Lusztig, whose house was spared, interviews some of her neighbors on the charred remains of their houses. This leads to surprising, emotional, and probably also therapeutic conversations about what is of value. A former collector appears not to be missing any of her collector's items, but another woman can name every jar from her former spice rack.
Lusztig investigates the difference between a house and a home, and the relationship between memories and objects. At the same time, she shows what is left after a devastating fire—such as a miraculously undamaged “I Love Dad” mug—and human resilience.
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