Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles ★½

French Feminist Chantel Akerman’s 3 and a half hour magnum opus about the oppressive lifestyle of a domesticated housewife said volumes about how difficult it is to live in the patriarchy as a woman, and i struggled hard to watch this as a result. 

An almost dictatorial camera sits, untouched, often for spans of 15 minutes or more to watch the repetitive house chores of it’s titular character, doomed to be complacent to a son who doesn’t even act like she exists.

For a long and tired portion of this film we too, were forced to be complacent to a filmmaker who oppressed our time in much the same way society oppressed Jeanne Dielman. I understand the significance of this film and would invite anyone who believes a housewife “has it easy” to sit and watch this film with the same tenacity of it’s antihero throughout. 

Required viewing? I don’t know. If you’re down with feminism and are on the right side of history I would still skip this. It left me feeling cold, upset, and like I was being talked down to.

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