In 2005, filmmaker Chantal Akerman spent a month in Tel Aviv where she had planned to make a film on life in Israel/ Palestine during a period of intense violence. Daunted by the killings she knew were occurring almost every day, she decided to shoot from the safety of her apartment, shooting her entire film from inside toward the outside, through a single window. Akerman screened “Là-Bas/ Down There”, her remarkable, austere film on this time in her life, at the 2006 Jerusalem Film Festival where I was presenting my film “States of UnBelonging”. For me, it was a dream come true of a sort, meeting Akerman and having a chance to talk to her about her work. Now 14 years later, I think about our own DAUNTING NOW, the witnessing we do from our Corona-framed solitude through our windows, what we see and what we don’t. Unless we are sick ourselves or are first responders, we too, like Akerman, sink into the horrors of our own imagination. Across the years and across our community of filmmakers, there is a RETE, a network, that connects me to her, and all of us to the impulse she had to observe from her hermetically sealed environment, always fearing the puncture.
You can see the entire film here: https://ovid.tv/details/_1864469369001