18 November, 2020 - 20:00



“I remember editing the film D’Est together with Chantal Akerman. It was like a composition, both musically and visually. We were working on a sculpture of space and time, looking for the right rhythm. We cut the film the way Chantal had filmed it: following our intuition, without wanting to understand the process.” — Claire Atherton


Claire Atherton is a film editor. In 1986, she started working with Chantal Akerman on Letters Home, which triggered a thirty-year collaboration. She has worked with a wide range of artists and filmmakers, notably with Eric Baudelaire.


In the presence of Claire Atherton

With the support of the Embassy of France in Belgium, in the context of the EXTRA 2020 program

D’Est (From the East)

Chantal Akerman

While there’s still time, I would like to make a grand journey across Eastern Europe. To Russia, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the former East Germany, and back to Belgium. I’d like to film there, in my own style of documentary bordering on fiction. I’d like to shoot everything. Everything that moves me. Faces, streets, cars going by and buses, train stations and plains, rivers and oceans, streams and brooks, trees and forests. Field and factories and yet more faces. Food, interiors, doors, windows, meals being prepared. Women and men, young and old, people passing by or at rest, seated or standing, even lying down. Days and nights, wind and rain, snow and springtime. And everything I see that is slowly changing — faces and landscapes. All these countries in the throes of great change. Countries that shared a common history since the war and are still deeply marked by it, even in the very contours of the earth. Countries now embarking on different paths. I would like to record the sounds of this land, to make you feel the passage from one language to another, the differences, the similarities. A sound track only partially in sync, if at all. A river of diverse voices borne along by images. Voices that will tell stories both great and small, often very simple ones that we won’t always need to understand but can grasp anyway, like music from a foreign land, only more familiar. (Chantal Akerman)


Digital restoration by the Royal Belgian Film Archive (CINEMATEK)