26 Feb 2016

Chantal Akerman’s No Home Movie

Chantal Akerman’s No Home Movie (2015) is not only NOT a home movie but also refuses to sit like any other kind of movie. It is a film that really struggles against its own creation by constantly encouraging sabotage either from within or from the audience. Utterly mysterious cut-aways to deserts and dry lands, inappropriate usage of over and under exposure techniques, shabby hand-held camera work and awkward framing that really goes beyond the usual ‘extreme’ in any kind of personal film. Furthermore it is as if the film is begging Chantal to direct it, finish it and present it but she simply doesn’t want to do that anymore. Perhaps this was the only film that she could have made as a ‘final’ film. Aside from its disturbing themes, subjects and factual histories about her mother, her death and other aspects, I genuinely felt that its form is unlike anything I have experienced. Within it, there are only questions without answers and it summons all of her filmography as referential codes, some of which are really impossible to decipher. There is a scene at night where she lurks around, opens the windows and moves about on her balcony. The automatic focus tries to detect a point to focus but doesn’t succeed. At this point I somehow fell asleep, maybe for one second, and when I awoke I was deeply frightened. I knew what to expect from that point on and it was indeed a disturbing experience. Thank you Chantal for a filmography that is enough for a lifetime!

Rouzbeh Rashidi

Special thanks to Dean Kavanagh