Chantal Akerman

Chantal Akerman (Belgium, 1950 - France, 2015) was a Belgian film director, screenwriter, producer, artist and writer born in Brussels. Her debut as a director, at the age of 18, was Saute ma ville (1968). She made more than 40 films, including Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) and the documentary trilogy DʼEst (1993), Sud (1999), and De lʼautre côté (2002).

Jeanne Dielman, a lonely young widow, lives with her son Sylvain following an immutable order. However, something happens that changes her safe routine.

Panning shots describe the space of a room as a succession of still lifes, after which the filmmaker herself appears in the picture, sitting in bed.

A young woman mops the floor of her kitchen, polishes her shoes, dances, cooks, tapes the door shut and gives an explosive twist to her usual household routine.

In a shopping arcade, the paths of customers and shop girls cross on a daily basis. They all dream of love, or sing and dance to the rhythm of a choir of shampoo girls. A musical drama made up of intricate amorous entanglements.

The final film from Chantal Akerman is a portrait of her relationship with her mother, Natalia, a Holocaust survivor and familiar presence in many of her daughter’s films.

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