Mothers and daughters

News from Home

Digital Restoration

  • Introduction

    Jon Davies is a student in the PhD program in art history at Stanford University and has worked as a contemporary art curator. His book about Paul Morrissey’s Trash was published by Arsenal Pulp Press. 

Chantal Akerman’s mother was a profound influence on the filmmaker throughout her career and occupies the heart of Akerman’s most personal works. Describing the inspiration for News from Home, Akerman explained how, flying into New York City, she was struck by the contrast between the immensity of the city and the detailed intimacy of her mother’s letters. Beautifully filmed by Babette Mangolte, New York, imposing and anonymous, serves as the visual counterpoint to Akerman’s reading of her mother’s gentle words. Occasionally overwhelmed by urban clamor, her persevering plaint evokes presence and absence, distance and proximity, and how it feels to hover in between.

Kate MacKay
  • Babette Mangolte
  • French
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 90 mins
  • Janus Films

CineFiles is an online database of BAMPFA's extensive collection of documentation covering world cinema, past and present.

View News from Home documents  

Chantal Akerman: the integrity of exile and the everyday (article), LOLA Press, Jonathan Rosenbaum, 2012

A letter (article), LOLA Press, Dana Linssen, 2012

My baby, she wrote me a letter (article), Village Voice, J. Hoberman, 1989

News from home and Hotel monterey (article), Village Voice, J. Hoberman, 1989

Chantal Akerman - making strange (article), National Film Theatre (London, England), 1981

Chantal Akerman retrospective (program), Edinburgh Film Festival, 1979

Jean-Luc, Chantal, Danièle, Jean-Marie, and the others (article), American Film, Jonathan Rosenbaum, 1979

News from home (program note), 1979

News from home (program note), Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, 1977

Formal documents of power (article), Village Voice, J. Hoberman, 1977

Displaying 10 of 22 publicly available documents.

View all News from Home documentation on CineFiles.

Preceded By

La chambre

Chantal Akerman, Belgium, United States, 1972

This structural film/hide-and-seek consists of a continuous 360-degree pan around a New York City apartment intermittently inhabited by the artist herself. Akerman’s nod to Michael Snow deftly displays her knack for visual comedy and fascination with framing domestic space.

Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • Silent
  • 11 mins
  • Janus Films