Saturday, 22 February 2014

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 72: Thu Mar 13

Dis Moi (Akerman, 1980): ICA Cinema, 7.30pm

This is the latest in the A Nos Amours film club Chantel Akerman retrospective. Full details here.

Here is the ICA introduction:
A Nos Amours continues a retrospective of the complete film works of Chantal Akerman with Dis Moi  (1980) in which the filmmaker, herself a daughter of a holocaust survivor, engages for the first time with the Shoah.

Dis-moi was commission for television – part of a series about grandmothers (Grands-mères, un série proposée par Jean Frapat). Akerman chose to talk with several elderly Jewish women – all of them survivors of the Shoah.

Akerman has a terrible family history of her own – 'My mother arrived in Brussels in 1938 from a small town near Krakow. In 1942 she was taken to Auschwitz, just 30 miles from where she grew up…Her parents died there and most of her family' (from an interview in the Jewish Chronicle). Akerman’s mother Natalia, a teenager at the time, survived, a quite unimaginable orphaning.

The filmmaker is in the frame and conducts the interviews, bearing witness to stories told by these elderly but dignified women survivors. But there is comedy here too – after all, these are stubborn, tough and wayward women who if bored are quite capable of losing interest in interviews and film crews, preferring to switch on the TV.

Nothing invokes the European disaster better than these encounters with orphans of the Shoah – cut off from the past and themselves by experience of horror.

Subtitled in English by A Nos Amours for the first time, translated by Sylvie Beaufils.

Screening with Autour de Jeanne Dielman, Sami Frey’s documentary video shot on the set of Jeanne Dielman, edited by Chantal Akerman and Agnès Ravez.

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