News from Home

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News from Home
Directed byChantal Akerman
Produced byAlain Dahan
Written byChantal Akerman
StarringChantal Akerman
CinematographyBabette Mangolte
Jim Asbell
Edited byFrancine Sandberg
Release date
  • 8 June 1977 (1977-06-08) (France)
Running time
88 minutes

News from Home is a 1977 avant-garde documentary film directed by Chantal Akerman. The film consists of long takes of locations in New York City, set to Akerman's voice-over as she reads letters her mother sent her between 1971 and 1973, when the director lived in the city.


In November 1971, at the age of 21, the Belgian film director Chantal Akerman moved to New York City. There she took petty jobs, made films and befriended filmmakers such as Jonas Mekas and the cinematographer Babette Mangolte, who became one of her recurring collaborators. According to Akerman, she spent the period living "like a vagabond."[1] Principal photography for News from Home took place in the summer of 1976, three years after the director moved back to Belgium and after she achieved critical success with the 1975 film Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles. Locations chosen for News from Home correspond to the areas where Akerman used to take walks, which include the Times Square subway station and a long shot driving up Tenth Avenue from 30th to 49th Streets in Hell's Kitchen. Other scenes were filmed in Tribeca and on the Staten Island Ferry. None of the sound was recorded with the images, but was added later.[1]


The film was released on DVD in France through Carlotta Films on 18 April 2007.[2] The Criterion Collection released it through their Eclipse series in 2010, as part of a set called Chantal Akerman in the Seventies. The set included four feature films Akerman directed in the 1970s as well as a number of short films.[3] News from Home is included on the first disc of the set, called The New York Films.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Anderson, Melissa (2010-01-19). "Her Brilliant Decade". Moving Image Source. Museum of the Moving Image. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  2. ^ "News from home - film de Chantal Akerman". Evene (in French). Figaromedias. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
  3. ^ Kehr, Dave (2010-01-31). "The Evolving Vision of a Belgian Auteur". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-06.

External links[edit]