This event took place on Apr 29, 2018

$16 General Admission
$13 NWFF Member

Members of On the Boards receive the NWFF member discount at the box office

Series - Visiting Artists

Live Music

** Live cello accompaniment to Chantal Akerman’s Blow Up My Town by Akerman collaborator Sonia Wieder-Atherton! **


** Co-presented with On the Boards! **

A performance structured around an absence – the filmmaker Chantal Akerman (1950-2015), represented on stage by her first film and excerpts from one of her books – and a presence – the stellar cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton, her companion and collaborator for many years, who “imagined” this dialogue: “I wanted to play along with her, her every move, her silences, her dancing at once burlesque and deadly serious, her anxiety as she is humming little tunes. Tracking her, surprising her, surprising myself at each step. It begins with Bartók’s Sonata for Solo Violin (1944), transcribed here for the cello. This is followed by the first images of Saute ma ville (1968). And there is a voice, that began long before and will continue long after, like a endless prayer, the voice of Chantal Akerman reading A Family in Brussels.” — Sonia Wieder-Atherton


The short that launched Akerman’s career, Saute ma ville, had the impact of a gunshot. In this incandescent, mock-heroic and frenzied work, she puts herself in front of the camera – as a ‘grand-daughter’ of Charlie Chaplin, wreaking havoc in the kitchen, savagely diverting the use of detergents, food and domestic appliances before blowing herself up, and her entire city with her, by putting her head inside the oven, a burning piece of paper by her hand. This was in the insurrectional year 1968; she was eighteen.” – Le Monde

Looking again at Chantal Akerman’s work today is a willful refusal to say ‘goodbye’ to her.” – Trafic

Watching Sonia Wieder-Atherton play is like watching Rudolf Nureyev dance. Her instrument is as much a part of her body as her arms or legs, and she makes it sing in a way that would seem impossible from anyone else.” – Time Out New York

Sonia Wieder-Atherton does not allow her art to be restricted by boundaries; with her bow she is searching for the grain of the human voice.” – Télérama


Performances of CHANTAL? are being presented on the west coast in Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles in April/May 2018. Performances in Seattle and Portland have been organized by Sandra Percival, Director and Curator of Zena Zezza, with the Fondation Chantal Akerman.

Photo credit: CHANTAL?, Sonia Wieder-Atherton on cello and Chantal Akerman in SAUTE MA VILLE (Blow up my town), 1968. © Fondation Chantal Akerman. Courtesy of Fondation Akerman.

Supported by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S.

A modern browser is required to view this site.

Please update your browser.

Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

Notify me when new films, events, and workshops are coming up!