No Home Movie
Chantal Akerman / BE, FR, 2015
Chantal Akerman filmed the last days of her mother’s life: the routines of an unobtrusive woman. No home movie is a personal documentary that approaches life in an intimate, almost startling way.
Chantal Akerman has created one of the most original, provocative and influential oeuvres in film history. No Home Movie is a stark and moving portrait of Akerman”s mother, shot in the months preceding her death. Her mother mainly spent the last months of her life in her neatly arranged Brussels apartment, isolated from the outside world and far away from the promised land that was never reached. Akerman”s mother was a Polish-Jewish survivor of Auschwitz who suffered from chronic fears all her life, a condition that defined a large part of her daughter”s creativity and also partly shaped Akerman”s preoccupation with such themes as gender, sexuality, cultural identity, existential ennui, loneliness and mania.
Akerman gradually reveals the powerful emotions lurking underneath the – seemingly – mundane exchanges between the filmmaker and her mother. Although the film is filled with tenderness, violence and alienation are never far away as Akerman tries to capture her mother”s shocking story before it is lost forever. The core of Akerman”s work is starkly revealed: confinement, repetition, confrontation, imbalance, the longing to be somewhere else.
Syrian New Waves curator Donatella Della Ratta connects No Home Movie with Coma by Sara Fattahi (screened at 19.00), a film which focuses on three generations of Syrian women in Damascus as they go about their daily tasks unperturbed.
No Home Movie