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Chantal Akerman obituary

Radical film-maker and artist who was a pioneer of modern feminist cinema
Chantal Akerman’s decision to become a film-maker was sparked by seeing Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le Fou, 1965. Photograph: Kenneth Saunders

Chantal Akerman was commonly described as a Belgian film-maker, but this label hardly does justice to the breadth of her identity as an artist, nor to her nomadic nature. As well as filming in her native country, Akerman, who has died aged 65, apparently after taking her own life, worked extensively in the US, as well as in eastern Europe, Israel, Mexico, China and elsewhere, making fiction, documentary, experimental and essay films. She also made video and installation art.

The marginal position she sometimes occupied in the film world had much to do with her eclectic practice, which made it hard to assign her a neat “auteur” identity. Nevertheless, from early in her career, Akerman attained a somewhat legendary status among cinephiles as a cinematic radical, a formal innovator and a pioneer of modern feminist cinema

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