From the East

Director: Chantal Akerman
Year Released: 1993
Rating: 1.0

Akerman takes her camera to Eastern Europe and Russia, either sticks it on a tripod or hooks it up to a vehicle and records the following: people walking, people working, people standing, people at home, cars driving, people waiting. If I didn't read the description ahead of time I would have had a hard time knowing what was going on - she's trying to capture, I'm guessing, the 'mood' of the region following the fall of the Berlin Wall, but the images are so arbitrarily stuck together it's hard to accept this as a potent message: you could replicate the shots by, say, filming the people and places of the Midwest of the United States (with no dialogue, of course) and say it's a statement about American malaise during the (current) economic crisis (or something to that effect). It's lazy filmmaking, to be honest, and not intellectually rewarding - she's forcing the viewer to do all the mental lifting.