Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman lets her camera observe the intimate daily existence of her mother Natalia, a Holocaust survivor who lives in a bright, neat apartment in Brussels. Sharing meals, recalling the past or simply chatting over Skype, Chantal documents their relationship, never suspecting that these few months would be her mother’s last.
Akerman’s oeuvre has often paid tribute to her mother, and played with notions of maternal domesticity. In this, her last film, Akerman’s gaze stays within Natalia’s apartment as the camera remains static, observing passively but tenderly. Intermittently contrasted with long shots of harsh landscapes, this claustrophobic (yet expansive) video essay is as much about the ache of love as about inescapable decline and loss.