Former People Film Podcast: Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

Co-produced by Diet Soap, the Former People film podcast is a discussion series. In this episode, we debate Chantal Akerman’s 1975 masterpiece Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles. Is it a Feminist propaganda film, an exploration of obsessive compulsive disorder, or a hidden camera documentary about your mother? Actually it’s a three hour difficulty, a revered housework movie, and an antidote to all the “prostitute with a heart of gold” Hollywood spectaculars you’ve ever seen. Jeanne Dielman will make you suffer.

It is physical, but you know, when I started to shoot Jeanne Dielman, at the beginning, I was not aware of what was going to be the film. Everything was written in the script already, but still. After three or four days, when I saw the first dailies, I realized and I said, “My God, the film is going to be three hours and 20 or 40 minutes long, and it’s going to be developing little by little.” -Chantal Akerman