‘My Mother Laughs’ by Chantal Akerman

Lauren Elkin at The Guardian:

In a scene in No Home Movie (2015), the last film from the celebrated film director Chantal Akerman, which is a documentary of her elderly mother’s daily life as she recovers from an operation, Akerman says while they are eating dinner: “In Judaism a child doesn’t have to love his parents, but he does have to respect them. Which is a very good idea!” she adds, waving her knife in the air. Her mother, Natalia, laughs.

Her mother laughs often, Akerman recalls in her memoir, in which the present day seems to be about a year before the film was made. “Often she laughs in the middle of her moans.” “I listen to her laugh,” Akerman writes. “She laughs over nothing. But this nothing means a lot. She even laughs in the morning sometimes … I like the sound her laugh makes. She sleeps a lot, but she laughs. She enjoys herself. Then she sleeps.”

more here.