24 June: Chantal Akerman

chantal

At first we were too sad to deliver our weekly Our Girl Friday. After the Brexit result this morning felt too bleak to celebrate. But despite the shattering divorce of our European union, let’s look to someone who made us proud to once be part of an incredible pool of unforgettable talent.

Our Girl Friday is the Brussels-born Chantal Akerman who roamed the world from eastern Europe to New York pioneering modern feminist cinema along the way. Her last film No Home Movie is a melancholy mediation onthe deep connection to her a Polish Holocaust surviving mother Nelly as her health wanes with age. Akerman gently presents a world that reminds us to stop, observe and relish the time we have on this earth with those we love, and even though technology aids the practicality of connection, nothing is more powerful than spiritual bonds.

This week sees a brand-new restored DCP of Jeanne Dielman – Akerman’s essential film on a lonely widowed housewife which screened at this month’s Sheffield Doc Fest. The restoration after her death in 2015 feels poignant. It reminds us that art can be medicinal, beauty can be restored, and optimism – even in particularly morose times – can prevail.

Here’s to Chantal for helping us see a light.
Happy Friday one and all xxx

 

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