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92 Ratings

Down There

Directed by Chantal Akerman
France, Belgium, 2006


An intensely personal and achingly conceived work by one of cinema’s leading female filmmakers, Là-bas reveals a stripped down, vulnerable Chantal Akerman tackling a subject that has arguably haunted her entire oeuvre.

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Down There Directed by Chantal Akerman
Jonathan Rosenbaum has often noted the influence of Edward Hopper on Akerman’s work, which is most apparent in her images of empty interiors. DOWN THERE—like her early works LA CHAMBRE and HOTEL MOTEREY—is full of such images, and they are often beautiful to behold, as Akerman’s lighting and mise-en-scene communicate malaise and vulnerability no less precisely than the narration does.
August 12, 2016
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The movie is striking but reveals more about the filmmaker’s fragile state of mind than about the milieu.
August 11, 2016
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Echoing that of J. K. Huysmans’s 19th-century novel, the movie’s French title, “Là-Bas,” has intimations of damnation as well as depression. What’s remarkable is the degree to which Ms. Akerman uses the interplay of place and displacement to wrest beauty from despair.
April 15, 2016
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