Previously at the ICA - Films
13 Mar 2014
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.
Read Adam Roberts' introduction to the film on the Huffington Post Blog→
Dis-moi was commissioned 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 for the first time by A Nos Amours, translated by Sylvie Beaufils.
Please join us in the ICA Bar after the screening to discuss the film.
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.
Dis-moi, dir Chantal Akerman, France 1980, 45 mins
Autour de Jeanne Dielman, dir Sami Frey, 70 mins