Movie review of “I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman”: Director Marianne Lambert makes a sensitive attempt at portraying the groundbreaking director and her work.

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It’s challenging to make a movie about a filmmaker who was such a master at telling her own story. In “I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman,” Marianne Lambert makes a sensitive attempt at portraying Akerman, a groundbreaking director, and her work, displaying a comfort level perhaps born of working as a production manager for her subject.

Akerman, who died in October at 65, is interviewed here in the parts of the world she had inhabited and explored, from New York to Israel. She talks freely about her beginnings in Brussels and in New York in the 1970s, and the personal echoes and artistic thinking behind such films as “Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles,” “News From Home” and “A Couch in New York.”

Aurore Clément, star of Akerman’s “Les Rendez-Vous d’Anna,” pays tribute, as does Gus Van Sant, who cites Akerman’s influence on “Last Days,” a film he made that was inspired by the end of Kurt Cobain’s life.

Movie Review

‘I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman,’ a documentary directed by Marianne Lambert. 67 minutes. Not rated; for mature audiences. in French, with English subtitles. SIFF Film Center.

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Most moving are conversations about Akerman’s final film, “No Home Movie” (see review below). That valedictory work centered on her mother, a Holocaust survivor whose presence and past haunted and charmed this filmmaker’s oeuvre. Akerman (looking somewhat vulnerable) and her longtime editor, Claire Atherton, explain the power of precise compositions, timing and sequences.

Lambert’s film builds nicely, staying in tune with the ordinariness and intimacy explored in Akerman’s boldly rendered films. Nobody knows how Akerman would have followed the personal watershed of “No Home Movie,” but Lambert wisely directs us back to the stories told across all of her work.