A truly voyeuristic film by Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman which, among others, brings to mind Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Rear Window (also screening at IFFR). Akerman does not film here with any preconceived intentions. She seeks to be as open and blank as possible, to ensure that things take their own course. A remarkable self-portrait essay, open to many interpretations, embracing some of the most important elements of Akerman’s work and using the interplay of place and displacement to wrest beauty from despair.

Akerman spends a brief period in an apartment by the sea in Tel Aviv, Israel. From her apartment, she spies on the neighboring apartments and films people living their ordinary daily lives. In voice-over, she reflects on 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.

International title
Down There
Filmmaker
Chantal Akerman
Country
France, Belgium
Year
2006
Medium
Betacam SP
Length
78’
Language
French, English
Producer
Roman Gackowski
Production Company
RGTV
Sales
Doc & Film International
Writer
Chantal Akerman
Cinematography
Chantal Akerman, Robert Fenz
Editor
Claire Atherton
Sound Design
Thomas Gauder