Chantal Akerman was a Belgian film director, screenwriter, producer, artist and writer. She was born in Brussels in 1950, to a family of Polish-Jewish immigrants. She never truly severed these roots: film after film would see her return obsessively to her Jewish ancestry, either in terms of her own family history or the broader character of Jewish life in the post-Holocaust era. Another key feature of her oeuvre was a meticulous focus on issues of perception and sexuality, often transmitted through a series of long, silent takes registered with a static camera.
This collection charts a path through Chantal Akerman's rich oeuvre of over 50 titles, from her first short film Saute ma ville (1968) to her final film, No Home Movie (2015), a portrait of her relationship with her mother, Natalia.
The films form part of the collections of CINEMATEK and the Chantal Akerman Foundation.
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.
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.
Jeanne Dielman, a lonely young widow, lives with her son Sylvain following an immutable order. However, something happens that changes her safe routine.
In this ensemble film, men, women and children, overcome by their desires, indulge in the excess of their feelings during a hot, stormy summer evening in the city.
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.