Boris Lehman

Born in 1944, Boris Lehman has been an exceptional presence in Belgian film culture for well over fifty years. In his autobiographical oeuvre, he maps out his own life and that of the inhabitants of his city, Brussels. Staging everyday moments, Lehman works with minimal means, but always with an articulated mise-en-scène that bears his unmistakable signature. Lehman’s way of life is inextricably bound up with his method  of filming. He made almost five hundred films, which he 
always presents to his audience in person, operating the film projector himself.
The exchanges between him and his colleagues regularly resulted in collaborations. Boris Lehman worked closely together with filmmakers  such as Henri Storck on Fêtes de Belgique (1970-1971), a ten-part report on Belgian folk festivals, and assisted Chantal Akerman during the shooting of Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du commerce, 1080 bruxelles (1975).
Not long after completing studies at the Brussels film school INSAS, he founded the production company Dovfilm, to produce his own films. Thanks to the company he was able to maintain full control over the production process and manage relations with his film crew. Between 1965 and 1982, he also worked in a rehabilitation centre for the mentally ill, where he deployed cinema as a therapeutic medium. Finally, he was also active as a film critic for film magazines such as Cahiers du Cinéma and Trafic.

After 44 years filmmaker Boris Lehman returns to Lausanne, where he was born in 1944. His parents, both Polish Jews, sought refuge in the city during the German occupation. Lehman remembers next to nothing of the episode. A film like a time machine.

Over a period of 15 years Boris Lehman recorded countless conversations with professional friends such as Jean-Rouch, Jonas Mekas and Robert Kramer. The result is a monumental work, an eight-hour long manifesto in defense of independent cinema.

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