Margulies considers how Chantal Akerman embraces the directness of the home movie to redesign, through lighting, perspective, and framing, analogues for the intricate relationship of symbiosis and distance between herself and her mother. The essay attempts to understand the film's emotional immediacy alongside and in tension with the filmmaker's characteristic indirection. It looks therefore to the kitchen talks (a sort of primal script between mother and daughter) as well as to the mysterious desert shots that crisscross the film's main focus on the apartment's interiors as two key tropes in the filmmaker's oeuvre connoting, respectively, domesticity and nomadism. The essay discusses how delicately Akerman represents in the film both the absence and the presence of her mother, the thread traversing all of her films.
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