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439 Ratings

From the East


Directed by Chantal Akerman
France, Portugal, 1993
Documentary, Avant-Garde


In this quasi-fictional documentary, Chantal Akerman travels—during the late summer to midwinter—from East Germany to Moscow, delivering an impressionistic chronicle of the changing reality of Eastern Europe.

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From the East Directed by Chantal Akerman
It’s among Ms. Akerman’s greatest films. A travelogue across the once-restricted post-Communist territory of Eastern Europe and Russia, it is a series of microdramas with the simplicity and freshness of the Lumière brothers’ earliest one-shot motion pictures.
April 15, 2016
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D’EST is in many ways much like an exhibition of stunning photographs or perhaps a meditative and somber Jacques Tati film; the scenes Akerman captures are at times so perfectly choreographed that its hard to believe they are not planned and orchestrated. Maybe this is just another of Akerman’s talents—the ability to compartmentalize the world into images both haunting and touching in equal measure.
November 13, 2009
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Someone looking at the film with a socio-historical bias might say [the people in the movie are] waiting to either be born into or die at the hands of the New World. The cumulative, seductively immersive effect of the movie, though, makes it seem as though they’re waiting for either Godot or for leaves to start sprouting out of their collective, human landscape.
October 21, 2009
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