In Chantal Akerman’s words, «This film is above all else about my late mother. About this woman who came to Belgium in 1938, fleeing Poland, the pogroms and the abuses. This woman we only see in her apartment in Brussels. It’s a film about the changing world that my mother does not see.»
About the director: Born in Brussels in 1950 to a family of Polish-Jewish immigrants, Chantal Akerman never really shook off the influence of her roots. In film after film she would return obsessively to this, either in terms of her own family history or the wider nature of Jewish life in the post-Holocaust era. Another central aspect of her work is the meticulous focus on perception and sexuality, often transmitted in long, silent takes from a static camera.
With a filmography totalling almost 50 titles, she is no doubt best known for her pioneering release of 1975, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, which earned her a central place in the worlds of both avant-garde and feminist cinema.
In recent years her work has been championed by such fervent admirers as director Gus Van Sant and critic J. Hoberman. From 2013 to 2015, London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts held a complete retrospective of her films, with screenings often playing to packed houses.
Her final release No Home Movie was premiered at the 2015 New York Film Festival.
Chantal Akerman passed away on 5 October 2015 at the age of 65.
Selected Filmography: Saute ma ville (1968), Hotel Monterey (1972), La Chambre 1 (1972), Je tu il elle (1974), Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), News from Home (1976), Les Rendez-vous d’Anna (1978), Toute une nuit (1982), Les années 80 (1983), J’ai faim, j’ai froid (in Paris vu par… vingt ans après) (1984), Golden Eighties (1986), Histoires d’Amérique (1989), Nuit et jour (1991), D’Est (1993), Portrait d’une jeune fille de la fin des années 60 à Bruxelles (1993), Un divan à New York (1996), La Captive (1999), De l’autre côté (2002), Demain on déménage (2004), Là-bas (2006), La Folie Almayer (2011), No home movie (2015)