When French/Belgian/Jewish filmmaker Chantal Akerman died in 2015, she left an indelible mark on the world of avant-garde and feminist filmmaking. While her portfolio of 40+ films is vast and varied, there are recurring themes of domesticity, sex and alienation that have come to define her style. Her most influential film, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) examines a single mother’s regimented schedule of cooking, cleaning, mothering, and engaging in sex work to support herself and her son. These events unfold at the sedate pace of real life rather than the rollicking clip of a typical Hollywood film, denying the viewer the pleasures and illusions of conventional editing. By combining anti-illusionism with female themes and protagonists, Akerman introduced a female voice into the male-dominated world of modernist filmmaking.
To celebrate her life, we present Akerman’s last film No Home Movie, which chronicles several conversations between the filmmaker and her mother just months before her mother’s death. We also present the new documentary I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman, filmed during Akerman’s final years. Taken together, these films create a portrait of a transient and uncompromising artist reflecting on a remarkable life.