From The East: D'Est

Directed by Chantal Akerman

110 minutes / Color
No dialog
Release: 2003
Copyright: 1993

FROM THE EAST retraces a journey from the end of summer to deepest winter, from East Germany, across Poland and the Baltics, to Moscow. It is a voyage Chantal Akerman wanted to make shortly after the collapse of the Soviet bloc "before it was too late," reconstructing her impressions in the manner of a documentary on the border of fiction.

By filming "everything that touched me," Akerman sifts through and fixes upon sounds and images as she follows the thread of this subjective crossing. Without dialogue or commentary, FROM THE EAST is a cinematographic elegy.

Also available on DVD boxset Chantal Akerman: Four Films.

"One of Akerman's best films." —Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

"If this isn't a masterpiece, tear the word from your dictionary." —Stuart Klawans, The Nation

"Monumental… Akerman's method uncannily draws the spectator in… The people and places of FROM THE EAST may be unnamed, but they are not anonymous: Their images are indelible." —Melissa Anderson, Artforum

"A travelogue through history… Akerman has described this elegant masterpiece as 'documentary bordering on fiction'; it's also a purely cinematic monument in time and space." —J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

"Taking her relentless cameras from East Germany to Russia, Akerman delivers an impressionistic report from the new front. Displaying her distinctive visual style, influenced by structuralism and minimalism, her journal unfolds as a procession of postcards... Akerman captures the essence, if not the historical particulars, of a region on the move." —Emanuel Levy, Variety

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A film by Chantal Akerman

Select Accolades

  • One of the 10 Best Films of the 1990s, J. Hoberman, Artforum
  • True/False Film Festival 2016
  • Ann Arbor Film Festival 2016
  • San Francisco Film Festival 1994


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