Monthly Screenings

‘There are filmmakers who are good, filmmakers who are great, filmmakers who are in film history. And there are a few filmmakers who change film history.’ (Nicola Mazzanti, director of the Royal Belgian Film Archive)

Filmmaker, actor, writer, artist, professor of film at Harvard and CUNY, NY, Chantal Akerman created shorts, medium-length films, features, musicals, and documentaries. She refused to abide by any rules, dropping out of film school quickly, impatient to start working. ‘…Cinema is either this or that. I would love it to sometimes be and this, and this, and this… my route is made up of all these divisions, these tensions, pulling me off in different directions. ‘

Much of her work revolved around her mother, Natalia, a Holocaust survivor whose silence regarding her trauma nourished most of Chantal’s work. She developed a form of nomadic cinema, observing people, far from her home in Paris or Brussels, living their daily lives; a flâneuse, or wanderer’s point of view, searching for her truth in the other. But her camera occasionally focused on intimate, confidential self-portraiture.

Jeanne Dielman (1975), Akerman’s master work, is a rigorous film about time and rituals in 223 tableaux. Her films, she claimed, ‘did not take your time but gave it.’ ‘I want people to experience film in their body’. From the East (1993) is its counterpoint, with its fluid choreography of environments and people, starting in East Germany and ending in Moscow. South (1998) concentrates on a racist lynching. It is ‘the quest for meaning beyond the nonsense of barbarism and death.’ Despite despair, she, as Kafka, does not ‘make pathos’.

Her last film, No Home Movie (2015), ‘is about a loss – my mother; and about a reunion – my mother.’ It’s also about our own loss of a superlative artist just a few months later.

Vivian Ostrovsky

Autour de Jeanne Dielman

Dir.: Sami Frey
| 70 minutes

Autour de Jeanne Dielman allows intrigued viewers a rare peak into the ‘making of’ process of a most audacious film. One gets a good sense of the working relationship between seasoned actress Delphine Seyrig and the young Chantal Akerman, then only twenty-five-years of age.


A Performance by Sonia Wieder-Atherton Intertwined with Chantal Akerman's Blow Up My Town (1968)

Chantal Akerman by Chantal Akerman

Dir.: Chantal Akerman
| 64 minutes

When Chantal Akerman was invited to participate in a series on filmmakers portrayed by other filmmakers, all the directors she chose had already been picked by others. Jokingly she suggested herself as a subject and it was accepted. This is the result.

Down There

Dir.: Chantal Akerman
| 78 minutes

In 2005, Chantal Akerman arrived in Tel Aviv with her camera. For a month, she films neighboring windows from her apartment, and reads excerpts aloud from her journal including notes on Judaism, film, and her family.

From the East

Dir.: Chantal Akerman
| 107 minutes

In her 1993 documentary, Chantal Akerman travels through post-Cold War Eastern Europe. From East Germany to Russia—life is portrayed through prolonged camera movements and a fascinating sequence of gazes.

News from Home

Dir.: Chantal Akerman
| 85 minutes

In 1977, Chantal Akerman returns to New York. Urban scenes are combined with the reading of letters from her mother that gradually reveal Akerman’s need to detach herself from her roots while raising questions about the physical meaning of “home.”

No Home Movie

Dir.: Chantal Akerman
| 115 minutes

Celebrated director Chantal Akerman, who died in late 2015, creates a painfully poignant documentary of the final months in her mother’s life and bares the profound and complex mother-daughter relationship.


Dir.: Chantal Akerman
| 71 minutes

In 1998, Jasper, Texas, three white men commit the abhorrent murder of a black man. The crime leads Chantal Akerman to Jasper where she speaks to locals about previous crimes and the rise of white supremacist movements.