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Down There L-bas
A film by Chantal Akerman
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According to director Chantal Akerman, she never planned to make a film in Israel. She was convinced that neutrality does not exist and that her subjectivity would get in her way. She was sure she would only be able to reflect on 'the Israel question' while she was outside the country.

It was only when she taught at the University of Tel Aviv, picked up a camera and 'found' suitable images that she decided to make a film. Akerman spends a brief period on her own in an apartment by the sea in Tel Aviv. She takes the chamber play to its ultimate form: it is almost entirely chamber. She films from the apartment and in her narration she talks about her family, her Jewish identity and her childhood. She wonders whether normal everyday life is possible in this place and whether filming is a realistic option. Akerman does not film here with any intentions defined in advance. She wants to be as open and blank as possible to ensure that things take their own course.

"Whats remarkable is the degree to which Ms. Akerman uses the interplay of place and displacement to wrest beauty from despair."J. Hoberman, The New York Times

"L-bas at first seems painfully esoteric, but for those with patience there is, as promised, a pay-off."Frieze Magazine

"One of the great documentary self-portraits."Richard Brody, The New Yorker

78 minutes / color
Closed Captioned
Release: 2016
Copyright: 2006
DVD Sale: $Please inquire

This DVD is sold above for home video use only. If you require a license for institutional use or Public Performance rights, click here.

Subject areas:
Cinema Studies, Film History, Gay Studies, Jewish Studies, Middle East, Women's Studies

Related Links:
The Films of Chantal Akerman


Related Titles:
From The East: Chantal Akerman retraces a journey from the end of summer to deepest winter, from East Germany, across Poland and the Baltics, to Moscow. "One of the 10 Best Films of the 1990s." — J. Hoberman, Artforum

From The Other Side: Using technology developed for the military, the flow of illegal immigration into San Diego has been stemmed. But for the desperate, there are still the dangerous deserts of Arizona, where Chantal Akerman shifts her focus.

Chantal Akerman, From Here: A conversation with Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman about her films and her directorial philosophy.

Chantal Akerman Four Films: Four documentaries spanning two decades are included in this 5-disc box set, with a 16-page booklet and bonus film about the late filmmaker.

One Day Pina Asked...: Chantal Akerman follows choreographer Pina Bausch and her dance company on a European tour.

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