Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles ★★★★½

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Commerce Quay, 1080 Brussels is a great film, but one that takes its time to get its point across. A feminist work of art at its core, it does not hold back at depicting holding back. The film spends about three hours of its runtime turning the daily routines of sex-specific role conformity into cinematic art.

Dielman's attitude is present throughout the film but restrained to subtleties of slight facial expressions and occasional acts of microaggression while in isolation. Towards the end is when the film's thesis shows its face, recontextualizing those slight subtleties that I mentioned.

She lashes out at against the social institution that represses her emotions and oppresses her abilities. We see her contemplate to herself afterwards, realizing both the potential consequences of her actions and the growing rage within women like her.

I hadn't taken into account how much I already saw its influence, as directors like Haneke and Kaurismäki take after Akerman's techniques, whether it be consciously or subconsciously. This film gets better the more I think about it.

Block or Report