Gwendolyn Audrey Foster A Film for Chantal Akerman

A film for

Chantal Akerman (1968–2015); feminist pioneer of avant-garde cinema.


Chantal Akerman is not just one of the most celebrated female directors, but she is also widely regarded as one of the greatest film auteurs of the avant-garde in the late 20th and early 21st century.

Akerman explores the concept of women’s time, women waiting in time and space; she employs very long takes in which (seemingly) very little happens. Akerman often films in spaces of exile and transience, such as train stations, empty streets, hotel corridors, and other places of transition, including kitchens and domestic spaces. Though she employs formal strategies common to structuralism (such as extremely long takes) Akerman’s work is deeply personal and rooted in her experience.

Chantal Akerman lives on through her many films and video art installations; her work continues to inspire filmmakers and visual artists around the world.

For more on Chantal Akerman see Foster’s collection of essays, “Identity and Memory: The Films of Chantal Akerman” (Southern Illinois University Press, 2003).


Gwendolyn Audrey Foster is Willa Cather Professor of English and Film at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She is author of many volumes including, most recently; “Disruptive Feminisms: Raced, Gendered, and Classed Bodies in Film” (which includes a section on women and ageism) and

Her films include “The Women Who Made the Movies”  (1992, distributed by Women Make Movies).

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