Movies

Eminent filmmaker Chantal Akerman, who became the voice of the inner woman, is dead

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New Delhi, 7 October: Renowned filmmaker Chantal Akerman, who presented her last film No Home Movie on her own mother Natalia at Locarno last month, is dead.

The Belgian-born, Paris-based director Akerman who figured among filmmakers who have delved deeply into the psyche of the woman died on 5 October at the age of sixty-five.

According to Isabelle Regnier of Le Monde, Akerman committed suicide.

Born in 1950, she is also remembered for one of the most original and audacious films in the history of cinema, “Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles” which premi?red at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1975, the month before her twenty-fifth birthday.

Akerman presented monumentally composed, meticulously observed, raptly protracted images of a woman’s domestic routine; and that the pressures of women’s unquestioned, unchallenged, and unrelieved confinement in the domestic realm and in family roles.

In effect, Akerman transformed the visual styles and narrative forms, the dramatic syntax and artistic codes of the modern cinema, into a woman’s cinema. Her films include “Je, Tu, Il, Elle” (I, You, He, She) made in 1976, “News from Home”, “Toute Une Nuit” (One Whole Night) in 1982

She made one of the great cinematic coming-of-age dramas, “Portrait of a Young Girl at the End of the Nineteen-Sixties in Brussels,” one of the great documentary self-portraits, “L?-Bas,” and, in 2011, an ecstatic, hallucinatory yet trenchantly political adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novel “Almayer’s Folly.”

Akerman also made a wildly rapturous, sinuously erotic Proust adaptation, “The Captive,” which came out in 2000 and was premi?red at Cannes.

Her last film ‘No Home Moive’ is a video essay about her mother Natalia who was an Auschwitz survivor who died in 2014.

Akerman also served on film festival juries and lectured widely. In 2011, she joined the staff of New York’s City College full time. 

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