New York, 1970s. The colors, sounds, and density of the city gain a psycho-geographic impetus through a narrative of letters exchanged between mother and daughter. The daughter is the director herself, in this case a young Belgian woman who arrives in the United States to work with cinema. Through Chantal Akerman’s soft, almost numb voice we listen (and sometimes fail to listen) to the letters her mother sends from Brussels. A film which, in the movements of subways, cars, and ferries brings us closer and further away from both the city and the people. (C. A.)
Born in Brussels, Chantal Akerman (1950-2015) has always transitioned between fiction, documentary, and experimental film, repeatedly blurring the boundaries of these labels. A key figure in the new feminist perspectives on film theory that gained momentum in the 1960s and 1970s, she made, among other films, the essential "Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles" (1975).