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.
“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.”
“If I have a reputation for being difficult, it’s because I love the everyday and want to present it. In general people go to the movies precisely to escape the everyday.”
Daniel Kasman: Like many of your movies, in No Home Movie the camera is distant and reserved, yet during one of these wonderful Skype talks with your mother you go in close, very close to the computer screen. The images become abstract and blurry and beautiful. Can you talk about coming closer to this image of your mother?
Chantal Akerman: It's an impulse. I cannot say more than that. It's true. It's an impulse, it's my instinct.
And yet, a lot of the shots in the film...it's interesting that you say you didn't know what you were going to make out of the film, because they seem so very constructed. All those shots of the apartment, the repeated shots from the same angles…
Well, you know, I have done that all my life, so it's like a second nature!
But a second nature to do the same thing in your own home?
Probably. But of course in my mother's home it was special.