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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A film wound around the injunction “Don't look back!” like a helical staircase round a newel (as if tied to a seat, we're forced to look rigidly forward and hear Chantal differently engaged somewhere behind), while the narrating voice defies the rule and goes pearl fishing in the past. Camera as self-occultation tool: we're to stay put like kids abandoned by a TV set, leaving the adult breathing space for meditation.