Chantal Anne Akerman was a Belgian film director, screenwriter, artist, and film professor at the City College of New York.
Akerman was a pioneer in feminist and experimental filmmaking. Born to Holocaust survivors from Poland, the generational trauma of this experience was a continuing theme in her work and in recent decades she explored her own Jewish identity. She made over 40 films during her lifetime and is considered to be one of the most important European directors of her generation.
Through her work, Akerman also conducted examinations of modern feminism by comparing the female condition to the monotony of domesticity.
According to multiple critics and film scholars, Akerman's influence on feminist and avant-garde cinema is substantial, with at least one scholar calling her "one of the most significant directors of our times.’
She did not like the labels of “Jewish” or “lesbian”, choosing instead to immerse herself in the identity of being a daughter; she said she saw the film as a "generative field of freedom from the boundaries of identity."