From the East


“A specter is haunting Europe – the specter of communism”: a journey that begins a little after the fall of the Berlin Wall (“before it is too late,” in the words of Chantal Akerman) – moving from western Europe into its east (from Poland into the heart of the Soviet Union), from summer into the depths of winter, and from a hermetic present into a complex, collective, and personal past (given that the director’s mother was a Polish- Jewish survivor of the Holocaust) – is not a reckoning with the first line of the Communist Manifesto; rather, it is a travel diary comprised of elegiac tracking shots, gliding from public spaces into private ones, and from solitary inner landscapes into the stark desolation of crowds. Keeping its precious interiority pristine, this Akerman masterpiece brings to life an unfamiliar and dogged world that no longer exists, immersing us in a contemplation of (or meditation on) the end of ideology, of history, of even the world we once knew.
Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Chantal Akerman
Script: Chantal Akerman
Cinematography: Raymond Fromont, Bernard Delville
Editing: Claire Atherton, Agnès Bruckert
Sound: Pierre Mertens, Thomas Gauder, Didier Pécheur
Production: Lieurac Production, Paradise Films, RTP – Radio e Televisao de Portugal
Producers: Helena van Dantzig
Executive producer: Marilyn Watelet
Format: DCP
Color: Color
Production Country: France, Belgium, Portugal
Production Year: 1993
Duration: 115'
Contact: Fondation Chantal Ackerman – Cinematek

Chantal Akerman

Chantal Akerman was born in 1950 in Brussels, and died in Paris in 2015. Akerman was a pioneer in feminist and experimental filmmaking. Born to Holocaust survivors from Poland, she attended a film school for a brief period from 1967 to 1968, before directing her first short, Blow Up My Town (1968). She went on to make over 40 fiction and documentary films during her life time, including Je, Tu, Lui, Elle (1974), Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), Tell me (1980), From the East (1993) and No Home Movie (2015). She is considered one of the most important European directors of her generation, “whose films have had a profound impact on feminist discourse within the cinema, and within avant-garde film and video art at an international level” (Gwedolyn Audrey Foster).


1974 Je Tu Il Elle
1975 Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
1977 News from Home (doc)
1982 All Night Long
1993 From the East (doc)
1999 South (doc)
2004 Tomorrow We Move
2011 Almayer’s Folly
2015 No Home Movie (doc)