New News from Another Home

New News From Another Home relates to its iconic original like a doppelgänger narrative. Almost fifty years after Chantal Akerman read out letters her mother sent her during her first stay in New York over images of the foreign city’s urban canyons, subway stations and building facades, Borjana Ventzislavova embarks on a personal journey through Akerman’s revered work. Images of the original locations are accompanied by emails from Ventzislavova’s mother, the tone of which is a combination of concern and gentle admonitions (the daughter sometimes writes too rarely and says too little), not unlike Natalia Akerman’s letters. “Dear Bube…” is how the “new news” begins, in which the mother reports about her everyday life in Bulgaria: the weather, health problems, family gatherings.  

News From Home (1976) is part of the collective visual memory and in this way, Ventzislavova’s reenactment inevitably becomes a comparative study along intertwined timelines. In addition to the mother-daughter relationship, the economic and social changes that have left their mark on the topography are reflected: the capitalization of public space, the omnipresence of the digital, the chaos of traffic.  

Unlike the one-sided, unvarying correspondence in the original film, the emails here show an active exchange. With the separation from her mother and her child, and probably also influenced by a traumatic past that echoes through Akerman’s blank spaces, Ventzislavova asks questions about her own family history. The fragments that come to light during the search for clues – with the internment of a relative in the Belene labor camp forming a dark marker – sketch out a multi-generational history between the Iron Curtain, emigration, and the years after the fall of Communism. In the glow of an endtime light, this history continues to have an impact in the present. (Esther Buss)

Translation: John Wojtowicz

Orig. Title
New News from Another Home
Year
2024
Countries
Austria, Bulgaria
Duration
87 min
Category
Experimental
Orig. Language
bulgarian
Subtitles
English
Downloads
NNFAH_01 (Image)
NNFAH_02 (Image)
NNFAH_03 (Image)
Credits
Director
Borjana Ventzislavova
Cinematography
Lauretta Prevost
Editing
Borjana Ventzislavova
Sound
Veselin Zografov
Recording
Neal Seidman
Additional camera
Borjana Ventzislavova, Zack Khalil
Production
Borjana Ventzislavova
Supported by
Wien Kultur MA 7, Bundesministerium für Kunst, Kultur, öffentlicher Dienst und Sport / Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport
Available Formats
DCP 2K flat (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
4:3
Sound Format
5.1 surround
Frame Rate
24 fps
Color Format
colour
Digital File (prores, h264)