My Mother Laughs by Chantal Akerman


A memoir & final book written by the Belgian artist & film director Chantal Akerman (1950-2015). First published in France in 2013, this translated version by Corina Copp was just released in summer 2019. The central focus of this matter-of-fact memoir is the artist’s mother, who was also the subject of her final film No Home Movie (2015). Looking mainly at the deterioration of her mother’s health, Akerman also speaks to the pain that comes with the end of relationships, family history, self-doubt, her lovers, mental health & the end of life. Included are family photos and film stills from Akerman’s oeuvre.

Akerman writes: “With pride because I believed at last in my ability to say something that I’d had trouble saying. I told myself, I am strong for once, I speak. I speak the truth.”

Chantal Akerman was a Belgian film director, screenwriter, artist and professor. She is best known for her film Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), which was dubbed a "masterpiece" by the New York Times. During her 42 years of active filmmaking, Akerman's influence on queer, feminist and avant-garde cinema remains unmatched, her films highlighting a near-physical passage of time. Akerman's films have been shown at the Venice Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival and the New York Film Festival, among many others.

The Song Cave, 2019

5.5” x 7.5”

175 pages

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