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JEANNE DIELMAN, 23, QUAI DE COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES

Chantal Akerman | 1975 | 202 MINS
Belgium/France | Subtitles
Three days in the life of a Belgian housewife, mother and part-time sex worker.

In Detail

This avant-garde film by Belgian feminist director Chantal Akerman lasts well over three hours and contains little in the way of what is normally considered dramatic action. If you are looking for some reassuring, escapist entertainment to kill a few hours on a summer’s day, this is not for you.

If, however, you would like to see a radical, daring film which foregrounds the life of an “ordinary” woman, with a memorable and hypnotising central performance by Delphine Seyrig as the title character, then you are in for an unforgettable experience. Akerman’s depiction of the slow, inexorable unravelling of Dielman’s life over three days, culminating in a single, shocking event, is riveting.

Slow cinema has rarely been this compelling. The 2022 ‘Sight and Sound’ poll saw it overtake ‘Citizen Kane’ and ‘Vertigo’ to reach the number one spot as the Greatest Film of All Time; it now awaits your verdict!

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