Akerman 12: Letters Home (1986)
ICA Cinema - box office
A Nos Amours continues the retrospective of the complete film works of Chantal Akerman.
On 11 February 1963, Sylvia Plath, poet and author of The Bell Jar, thirty years old, married, with two children, killed herself. Then, in 1975, Aurelia Schober Plath, Sylvia’s mother, published selected letters from her daughter as Letters Home: Correspondence 1950-1963.
These letters then became the basis for Rose Leiman Goldembergs’s off-Broadway hit:Letters Home. In 1984, this was staged in Paris, directed by Françoise Merle. In 1986 Chantal Akerman directed this film version.
Letters Home is therefore an object passed from a poet to her mother, from her mother to a woman playwright, then to a woman theatre director, and finally to a woman film-maker. This is a remarkable heritage: an object passed from hand to hand, a form of exchange between generations of mothers and daughters, between sisters in spirit.
Hardly seen, but surely a work that elaborates Akerman’s perpetual concern with communication and exchange between mothers and daughters. Moreover, the cast for the Paris production, and for this film version also, are themselves a mother and daughter: Delphine Seyrig and Coralie Seyrig.
dir. Chantal Akerman
France 1986, 104 mins
Digibeta with live subtitles