MY MOTHER LAUGHS is both the distillation of the themes the filmmaker Chantal Akerman pursued throughout her creative life, and a version of the simplest and most complicated love story of all: that between a mother and a daughter.
In 2013, Akerman's mother was dying. She flew back from New York to care for her, and between dressing her, feeding her and putting her to bed, she wrote. She wrote about her childhood, the escape her mother made from Auschwitz but didn't talk about, the difficulty of loving her girlfriend, C., her fear of what she would do when her mother did die. Among these imperfectly perfect fragments of writing about her life, she placed stills from her films.
Join translator Daniella Shreir and Joanna Biggs (Silver Press) in conversation about translating Akerman’s voice, style and artistic practice of translating women's lives onto the screen and page.
London-born Joanna Biggs is a writer and editor at the London Review of Books. Her first book All Day Long: A Portrait of Britain at Work was published in 2015 and she writes for many publications including the New Yorker, Guardian and Financial Times. With Sarah Shin and Alice Spawls, she founded the feminist publisher Silver Press in 2017, which has brought books by Leonora Carrington, Audre Lorde, Nell Dunn and Chantal Akerman back into print.