From the East

Director: Chantal Akerman

Belgium, France, Portugal, 1993, 110 min., documentary
The experimental documentary film D’est is one of the best examples of Akerman’s filmmaking, but at the same time different because of the non-narrative structure. D’est is an uncommented journey through anonymous landscapes filmed in Germany, Poland and Russia. One characteristic for Chantal Akerman’s filmmaking is slow horizontal camera movement, and the static framing of people and landscapes. The places and faces in the film, you notice them and create an echo inside you. Shivering people in a bus station in St. Petersburg 1993. Smiles, gazes and irritated faces are confronting the intrusive camera. D’est is the essence of “Kino-eye” film theory – the camera lens as an eye that captures images as objective truth. This truth is only possible to capture by a camera. Akerman explains, “I put the camera in front of what I want to film and I let it stay there during long time, so that truth must appear. Truth don’t have to appear but suddenly you feel something unexpected and your hearth starts beating faster.” Akerman’s contextualisation of the non-narrative film never leaves the audience without meaning and symbolic substance. The surroundings From the East, as the title indicates, give time for reflection about Eastern identity. Kaunas International Film Festival presents the unique opportunity to see a piece of film history.
Section: Identity

Screenplay: Chantal Akerman

Dir. of Photography: Bernard Delville, Raymond Fromont

Music: Sonia Wieder-Atherton

Producer: François Le Bayon, Marilyn Watelet